18 Sep 2009 10:47

Dollar unchanged at open on Fri; currency basket rises to 36.80 rubles

MOSCOW. Sept 18 (Interfax) - The ruble opened with a shallow decline on Friday in trading on the MICEX currency exchange after several days of substantial gains against the dollar on negative trends in commodities and equity markets abroad.

The bicurrency basket ($0.55 and 0.45 euro) rose 3 kopecks in the first minutes of trading to 36.80 rubles.

The dollar opened trading in "tom" contracts at 30.35 rubles/$1, the same as the close on Thursday and 3-4 kopecks below the Central Bank's official exchange rate.

The first deal in euro was transacted at 44.70 rubles/1 euro or 8 kopecks above the previous close but 11 kopecks below the official exchange rate.

The slight decline in the ruble's value is due to negative trends on commodities markets and securities exchanges abroad. Oil prices were falling on Friday as investors took profits after the price of crude rose to $73 a barrel earlier in the week, the Interfax Center for Economic Analysis said. Quotes on WTI for November delivery fell 0.5% to $72.57 a barrel.

Global stock markets also began to succumb to negative sentiment, with markets declining in the U.S. and Asia.

The euro's steep gains against the dollar have moderated. The European currency is currently trading at just above $1.47 ($1.473 on Friday morning compared with $1.471 when the MICEX closed on Thursday).