14 Aug 2009 10:28

Dollar slightly higher against ruble at open on Fri

MOSCOW. Aug 14 (Interfax) - The dollar was slightly higher and the euro was virtually unchanged at the open of trading on the MICEX currency exchange on Friday. The Central Bank's currency basket rose slightly in the first minute of trading.

The dollar opened trading in "tom" contracts at 31.7-31.8 rubles/$1 and was at the upper end of that range a few minutes later, 9 kopecks above the close on Thursday but 35 kopecks below the Central Bank's official exchange rate.

The euro opened near 45.4 rubles/1 euro, about the same as the previous close and 40 kopecks below the official exchange rate.

The bicurrency basket ($0.55 and 0.45 euro) ticked up to 38.91 rubles as of 10:04 a.m., 5 kopecks above the close on Thursday, when the basket shed 67 kopecks.

The Interfax Center for Economic Analysis said the ruble stopped strengthening against the basket after the rise in oil prices stalled on Friday morning, with WTI blend settling back below $71 a barrel, the same level as yesterday.