MOSCOW Feb 24 The Russian rouble firmed
slightly against the dollar in early trade on Friday, pricing in
gains in oil prices the previous day when the Russian market
At 0828 GMT, the rouble was 0.1 percent stronger against the
dollar at 58.03 but lost 0.3 percent to 61.51
versus the euro.
The trading activity was below average as Russian banks and
companies went on a long weekend until Feb. 27.
It was unclear if the central bank kept on buying dollars
for the finance ministry's coffers on Friday. Starting from
early February, the central bank had been buying around $100
million a day.
Next week, the rouble is likely to see some support from
month-end tax payments that prompt export-focused companies to
convert dollar revenues in order to meet local liabilities.
Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia's
main export, was down 0.5 percent at $56.3 a barrel after
climbing 1.3 percent higher the day before.
The dollar-denominated RTS index was down 0.3
percent to 1142.7 points, while the rouble-based MICEX
slid 0.2 percent lower to 2101.41 points.
For rouble poll data see reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=cpurl://apps.cp./Apps/fx-polls?RIC=RUB=
For Russian equities guide see
For Russian treasury bonds see
Russia in graphics: link.reuters.com/dun63s
(Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)