Title: Russian rouble near multi-year peaks as tax payments loom
Jun 20, 2022 04:27AM ET
The Russian rouble stabilised near multi-year highs on Monday, supported by capital controls, and may strengthen further later in the month on month-end tax payments.
At 0758 GMT, the ruble eased 0.2 percent against the dollar to 56.52 and fell 0.5 percent against the euro to 59.18, still near its highest level in nearly five years of 57.10 reached in May.
The rouble, which has become the world's best-performing currency this year, is being driven by Russia's high proceeds from commodity exports and a sharp drop in imports, as well as a ban on households withdrawing their savings in foreign currency.
Top politicians used the annual Russian Economic Forum in St Petersburg last week to highlight the ruble's recent strength. There are fears that this could weigh on the economy, which is heading for recession in the face of tough sanctions over what Moscow calls a "special military operation" in Ukraine.
First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov said the rouble was overvalued and industry would feel more comfortable if it fell to between 70 and 80 against the US dollar.
Still, the rouble could extend its gains this week as companies have to pay taxes, for which export-oriented firms usually convert their earnings into dollars and euros.
The dollar will consolidate within a range of 55.5-57.5 against the rouble during the day, analysts at Promsvyazbank said in a note.
Russian stock indices were mixed and lacked momentum.
The dollar-denominated RTS index fell 0.2 per cent to 1,312.9 points. The ruble-based Russian MOEX index was 0.2% higher at 2,358.8 points.
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