News // Russia
Ruble May Gain on MICEX
17 February 2009 , 12:36670
Advance payments on the single social tax, insurance premiums, and half of excise amounts, which were due on Monday, failed to boost demand for the ruble as they had done in the past.
Experts believe that taxpayers sold currency in advance. As reported earlier, the dollar jumped RUB 0.52 and the euro RUB 0.49 yesterday.
First Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia, Alexei Ulyukayev, is meanwhile calling for more confidence in the ruble, warning that the regulator would curb the national currency's excessive gains in the near term.
Ulyukayev confirmed that the Central Bank purchased nearly $1bn on February 13 as part of its routine interventions, and it was not participating in trading on Monday.
He also suggested that the ruble may strengthen in the second half of the year.
Russian analysts predict that the same may be true in the near term, as well, since the ruble could also gain some ground this week and early next week, when more tax and excise payments are due.
According to experts, traders may also prefer to sell foreign currencies as early as today, which could push the ruble higher on MICEX.
As reported earlier, the Bank of Russia set the official dollar exchange rate for February 17 at 34.7797 RUB/USD, and the official euro rate at 44.3476 RUB/EUR.
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