Russian rouble hovers near 5-year highs vs euro, stocks up

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

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May 16 (Reuters) – The Russian rouble firmed past 64 per dollar on Monday and climbed towards a near five-year high against the euro, supported by continuing restrictions on currency trading.

The rouble is the world’s best-performing currency this year, although this is due to artificial support from capital controls that Russia imposed to shield its financial sector in late February after sending tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine.

At 0744 GMT, the rouble was 0.9% stronger against the dollar at 63.96 , hovering near its strongest mark since early February 2020 of 62.6250, which it hit on Friday. read more

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Against the euro, the rouble rose 1% to 66.39 , staying near its strongest level since June 2017 of 64.9425, which it touched on the Moscow Exchange on Friday.

Geopolitical tensions between Moscow and the West and fears of a new sanctions package to punish Russia for what it calls “a special military operation” in Ukraine are in focus. But their impact is cushioned by mandatory conversion of foreign currency by export-focused companies and by other restrictions.

“The rouble firming today may be moderate but the dollar rate could gradually decline to 62,” Promsvyazbank analysts said in a note.

Russian stock indexes were up.

The dollar-denominated RTS index (.IRTS) was up 1.7% at 1,150.9 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index (.IMOEX) rose 1.6% to 2,343.9 points.

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Reporting by Reuters

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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