Russian ruble eases towards 62 against the dollar, stocks fall | Investment News

(Reuters) – The Russian ruble retreated towards 62 against the dollar on Thursday, stabilizing in a relatively narrow range after sharp and uncontrolled moves last week caused by an imbalance of supply and demand on the Stock Exchange. Moscow.

By 07:46 GMT, the ruble had weakened 0.8% against the dollar at 61.76 and eased 1% to trade at 65.00 against the euro.

The ruble has become the world’s best-performing currency so far this year, artificially boosted by capital controls Russia imposed after starting what it calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine on Feb. 24.

New gas payment terms for EU consumers that require the conversion of foreign currency into rubles and lower imports have also supported the Russian currency, helping it shrug off economic hurdles at home and the risks of imminent sovereign debt default.

Russia’s non-payment of $1.9 million in accrued interest on a dollar bond will trigger payments potentially worth billions of dollars, an investor panel determined on Wednesday, as the country falters on its first major external debt default in over a century.

In the domestic bond market, yields on 10-year OFZ Treasuries fell to 9.2%, their lowest level since early 2022, after data showed annual inflation slowed again after hitting its highest level since 2002. Bond yields move inversely to their prices.

Inflation data raised the odds of another rate cut by the central bank in June-July, Promsvyazbank said in a note.

Russia’s central bank cut its benchmark rate to 11% last week and said it saw room for further cuts this year as inflation slows from more than 20-year highs and the economy is heading for a contraction.

Russian stock indices were down. The dollar-denominated RTS index fell 1.7% to 1,200.9 points, while Russia’s ruble-based MOEX index fell 0.9% to 2,353.3 points.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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