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Russian rouble firms past 74 vs dollar, stocks up

A view shows Russian rouble coins in this illustration picture taken March 25, 2021. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/Illustration/File Photo

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April 22 (Reuters) – The Russian rouble firmed past 74 to the dollar in Moscow trade on Friday, helped by companies preparing to pay large sums in taxes, while stocks indexes inched higher.

At 0729 GMT, the rouble was 1.7% stronger against the dollar at 73.58 and had gained 1.4% to trade at 79.05 versus the euro on Moscow Exchange .

The rouble has fully recouped losses it suffered after Russia started what it calls “a special military operation” in Ukraine on Feb. 24.

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But moves in the once free-floating rouble are somewhat artificial after Russia imposed capital controls to support the currency. On the interbank market, the rouble was weaker: banks offered to buy dollars for 78.61 roubles and were selling them for 79.25 .

Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina said Russia was looking at adjustments to its foreign exchange controls to avoid situations where the rouble exchange rate deviates on a shadow market from official levels.

As she begins her new five-year stint in charge of monetary policy, Nabiullina will have to deal with a full-scale economic crisis, tackling unprecedented uncertainty stemming from Western sanctions. read more

The rouble is supported by a record 3 trillion roubles ($39.22 billion) that companies are due to pay in taxes this month, according to analysts surveyed by Reuters. To make the payments, some export-focused firms need to sell foreign currency.

This creates an imbalance in the market as trading volumes remain low, as does demand for foreign currency from importers.

Russian stock indexes were up but lacked momentum and new trading ideas.

The dollar-denominated RTS index (.IRTS) was 1.1% higher at 972.3 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index (.IMOEX) rose 0.5% to 2,281.2 points.

For Russian equities guide see

For Russian treasury bonds see

($1 = 76.5000 roubles)

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Reporting by Reuters;
Editing by Robert Birsel

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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