MOSCOW — The Russian rouble opened firmer on Thursday, boosted by the finance ministry’s announcement on Wednesday that it would sell around 3.2 billion roubles ($47.13 million) in yuan daily from Jan. 13 to Feb. 6.
The rouble was up around 1.2% against the dollar by 730 GMT, trading at 67.75.
It gained 0.71% against the yuan to trade at 10.03, and strengthened 1.4% against the euro to 72.95.
In a note, Alexei Antonov, head of the investment consulting department at Alor Broker said that the rouble would likely continue to strengthen amid the finance ministry’s intervention, the approaching tax period, and traditionally lower import activity at the start of the year.
Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, opened at $82.88 a barrel, before slipping to $82.66.
Having spent long periods of last year as the world’s best-performing currency, the Russian rouble lost 17% in December after Western moves to introduce an oil price cap and a European Union embargo hurt the country’s crude exports.
The rouble has since recouped some losses against the dollar, helped by large exporters selling off foreign currency earnings made during the first days of January to pay taxes.
Early trading on the Russian stock markets was mixed.
The dollar-denominated RTS index climbed 0.96% to 1,012.45, while the rouble-based MOEX Russian index was down 0.43% at 2,177.61.
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For Russian treasury bonds see ($1 = 67.9000 roubles) (Reporting by Felix Light; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)