Russian ruble strengthens after last week’s slump to over 15-month low

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The ruble strengthened on Monday, recovering slightly after domestic political concerns pushed the Russian currency to a more than 15-month low against the dollar late last week.

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By 0825 GMT, the ruble was 0.6 percent stronger against the dollar at 89.05. It hit 89.77 late on Friday, its weakest point since late March, 2022.

It had gained 0.9 percent to trade at 96.94 versus the euro and firmed 0.6 percent against the yuan to 12.26 .

Capital controls have helped insulate the ruble against geopolitics in the 16 months since Russia invaded Ukraine, but mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin’s aborted march toward Moscow on June 24 reverberated through markets and raised questions about President Vladimir Putin’s grip on power.

“The ruble is trying to correctively strengthen,” said Alor Broker in a note, expecting traders to lock in profits after the currency slid more than 5 percent last week.

The ruble lost more than 9 percent in June and is down around 20 percent so far this year, one of the world’s worst performers.

Russia’s currency is unlikely to find much room to strengthen over the coming 12 months, a Reuters poll showed on Friday, with analysts and economists expecting the Bank of Russia to raise interest rates in July and again later in the year as inflationary pressure intensifies.

Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, was down 0.5 percent at $75.07 a barrel.

Russian stock indexes were mixed.

The dollar-denominated RTS index was up 0.4 percent to 987.1 points. The ruble-based MOEX Russian index was down 0.2 percent at 2,791.0 points.

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