27 Jul 2009 12:36

Dollar falls back to level of early June

MOSCOW. July 27 (Interfax) - The dollar fell to its lowest level since the beginning of June as the ruble continued to strengthen against the Central Bank's currency basket on the strong rebound in oil prices.

At the close of the index session, the dollar was at 30.7457 rubles/$1, 39.15 kopecks lower than the Central Bank's official exchange rate for Monday. The Central Bank generally uses the weighted-average rate on "tom" contracts traded during the index session, which ends at 11:30 a.m., to set the official exchange rate for the next day.

The dollar had fallen as low at 30.68 rubles/$1 during the session, the greenback's lowest level since June 3.

The euro held near 43.8 rubles/1 euro throughout the session. That level is roughly 35 kopecks below the official exchange rate.

The bicurrency basket ($0.55 and 0.45 euro) continued to decline on Monday, falling approximately 20 kopecks compared with Friday's close to 36.6 rubles, its lowest since mid-June.

The Interfax Center for Economic Analysis said the currency basket was declining due to rising oil prices and demand for rubles among a number of market participants. Oil prices were rising on Monday as Asian equities posted gains and the dollar declined against the euro in forex trade.

September futures on WTI blend rose $0.64 to $68.69 per barrel in electronic trading on NYMEX on Monday morning, its highest since July 3. Spot prices for Russian Urals blend (c.i.f. Mediterranean ports) rose to $69.83 on Friday, a gain of $1.67 for the day.

The interbank credit market was little changed, with overnight loans at 6.5%-7% annually, about the same as the previous day at this time, TC Delta reported.