This content was produced in Russia, where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine
(Update prices, add SberCIB comment)
By Alessandro Medollo
MOSCOW, Oct 6 (Reuters) – The ruble fell to a two-week low near 61 per dollar on Thursday as a European Union plan for a Russian oil price ceiling heightened risks that foreign exchange inflows from Russia may decrease.
The Russian currency strengthened sharply at the end of last week on fears that the latest round of Western sanctions could target the Moscow Exchange’s National Clearing Center and restrict dollar and euro trading in Moscow.
Those fears, which pushed the ruble to a nearly eight-year high against the euro and sparked wild volatility in the currency, seem to have subsided for now.
At 1459 GMT, the ruble was 0.9% weaker against the dollar at 60.68, before approaching 61.
It was 0.6% weaker at 58.73 against the euro, falling to its lowest since September 22 of 59.2375 at the start of the session. The ruble stabilized 0.2% against the yuan at 8.56.
“The demand for hard currency was supported by the fact that no severe financial sanctions were announced, which means that market participants are still able to pay off their foreign debt and transfer foreign currency,” said SberCIB Investment Research.
“Contributing to the ruble’s weakness against the dollar, euro and yuan was continued low exporter activity, as well as heightened market uncertainty,” promsvyazbank analysts said in a statement.
Export-oriented companies usually convert their FX revenues into rubles when local liabilities need to be paid. Russia’s main fiscal period falls towards the end of the month.
The EU’s latest sanctions package halted before trying to curb Moscow’s foreign exchange trade, but included an oil price cap for deliveries of Russian marine crude to third countries via European insurers.
Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for major Russian exports, rose 1% to $ 94.3 a barrel after a group of major producing countries, including Russia, announced the largest cut in oil prices. supplies from 2020 in view of the European Union embargo on Russian energy.
Russian stock indices were collapsing.
The dollar-denominated RTS index fell 1.3% to 1,048.0 points, the low of nearly a week. The Russian ruble-based MOEX index fell 0.5% to 2,019.4 points. (Reported by Alexander Marrow; edited by Christian Schmollinger and Ed Osmond)