25 Dec 2009 10:29

Ruble extends gains against dollar, euro at open on Fri

MOSCOW. Dec 25 (Interfax) - The ruble continued to gain against the Central Bank's currency basket in the first minutes of trading on the MICEX currency exchange on Friday as demand for ruble liquidity persisted and bids for dollar and euro declined.

The dollar opened trading in "tom" contracts at 29.65 rubles/$1, but slid to 29.49 rubles/$1 in the ensuing four minutes, during which eight deals were transacted. That is 7-8 kopecks below the close on Thursday and approximately 50 kopecks below the Central Bank exchange rate for Friday. In the ensuing minutes the dollar declined further, to 29.4 rubles/$1.

The euro opened at 42.45-42.5 rubles/1 euro, 10-15 kopecks below the previous close and roughly 50 kopecks below the official exchange rate.

The bicurrency basket ($0.55 and 0.45 euro) declined 20 kopecks to 35.25 rubles.

The Interfax Center for Economic Analysis said the ruble was gaining on continued demand for ruble liquidity and extremely low dollar and euro liquidity due to the Christmas holiday in Europe and the U.S.