February 24, 2017 / 8:50 AM / 7 months ago

Rouble firms slightly against dollar in light trade

MOSCOW, Feb 24 (Reuters) - 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 was closed.

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)

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