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MOSCOW, Oct 1 (Reuters) - The Russian rouble weakened on Wednesday after the Central Bank conducted its first overnight rouble-dollar swap operation to boost banking liquidity.
Large foreign debt payments by Russian companies shut out of overseas capital markets as well as broad risk aversion after the West imposed sanctions over Moscow’s role in Ukraine have pushed the rouble to new lows almost daily in recent weeks.
At 0730 GMT, the rouble traded 0.2 percent weaker against the dollar and the euro, at 39.68 and 50.05, respectively.
The rouble opened beyond the level of 44.40 where the central bank automatically starts unlimited interventions to defend the currency, but recovered to trade at 44.34 roubles per the basket.
The Central Bank said on Wednesday it had conducted the rouble-swap overnight operation in the amount of $581.4 million. This was the first time the market used the mechanism that the Central Bank introduced on Sept. 16.
The bank denied a media report on Tuesday that Russia was weighing the introduction of temporary capital controls which had sent the rouble tumbling.
“Currency moves remained in focus,” Sberbank Investment Research analysts wrote in a morning note.
Russian shares traded higher on Wednesday, with the dollar-denominated RTS index adding 0.2 percent to 1,125 points and the rouble-traded MICEX adding 0.4 percent to 1,417 points.
Shares in debt-ridden Mechel were up 15 percent after the head of VTB Bank said the bank was “not afraid” of investing in the miner.
For rouble poll data see
For Russian equities guide see
For Russian treasury bonds see
Russia in graphics: link.reuters.com/dun63s (Reporting by Lidia Kelly and Vladimir Abramov, editing by Elizabeth Piper)