31 May 2010 18:49

Ruble edges down on lower oil

MOSCOW. May 31 (Interfax) - The ruble edged down against the dollar and euro and the dual currency basket as oil prices dipped and the international markets showed mixed tendencies, however trading was light due to the month-end factor and the U.S. holiday.

The dollar closed up 19 kopecks on the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange (MICEX) to 30.865 rubles/$1 in Tom deals and the euro gained 10.5 kopecks to 38.045 rubles/EUR1.

The dual currency basket ($0.55 and EUR 0.45) rose 16 kopecks in value to 34.1 rubles. It gained 54 kopecks in May as a whole.

WTI crude held close to $74.5 early on but fell below $74 this afternoon. Analysts said this was the main cause of the ruble's modest losses today. But Nomos-Bank analyst Ilya Ilyin said the currency basket may have gone up today and at the end of last week due to the $5 billion that the Central Bank said it had bought between May 1 and 27.

Trading was light anyway due to the holiday in the United States and the last working day of the month.

The euro held at around $1.23 all day on the Forex market.

The Central Bank raised its official rates 24.44 kopecks to 30.74 rubles/$1 and 18.17 kopecks to 37.8133 rubles/EUR1.

The MICEX did not hold trading in Today dollars, but Tom dollars averaged up 33.27 kopecks to 30.8142 rubles/$1 in volume of $2.662 billion.

The euro averaged up 18.18 kopecks in Today deals to 37.8323 rubles/EUR1 and 22.05 kopecks in Tom deals to 37.8905 rubles/EUR1. Combined volume was EUR253.4 million, of which EUR76.1 million in Today and EUR177.3 million in Tom deals.

Money-market rates stayed low, with the overnight MosPrime Rate rising just 2 basis points to 2.9% p.a.