MOSCOW, Aug 3 – The Russian rouble jumped against the U.S. dollar on Monday, surging away from a three-month low hit in early trade, helped by rising oil prices and the approaching end of a dividend payout period that tends to pressure the currency.
After sinking to 74.68 against the greenback in early trade, its lowest level in just shy of three months, the rouble was 1.4% stronger against the dollar at 73.42 by 1606 GMT.
It had gained 1.6% to trade at 86.25 versus the euro .
In recent days, analysts have attributed the rouble’s depreciation to Russian companies’ dividend payments, which prompt some investors to convert their rouble payouts into foreign currency. They now see some potential for recovery as these payments are winding down.
“As the dividend season in Russia is likely passing its peak now…, we think the rouble will catch up with peers in the coming weeks,” strategists from VTB Capital said in a note.
Analysts from Sberbank CIB, the investment arm of Russia’s largest lender Sberbank, said the rouble would consolidate after its sharp fall last week, but warned that later this week it would likely come under pressure once more.
Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, was up 1.5% at $44.15 a barrel, boosting the rouble.
However, surges in coronavirus cases around the globe also indicated that a recovery in fuel demand could be slower than expected.
Russian stock indexes finished the day higher.
The dollar-denominated RTS index closed up 1.9% at 1,257.4 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 0.6% higher at 2,930.0 points.
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For Russian treasury bonds see (Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber and Alexander Marrow; Editing by Barbara Lewis and Susan Fenton)