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Russian rouble down before release of U.S. jobs data
November 3, 2017 / 9:25 AM / in a month

Russian rouble down before release of U.S. jobs data

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Russian rouble weakened against the dollar on Friday despite high oil prices, reflecting the situation on other emerging markets, as investor focus shifted to U.S. jobs data expected later on Friday.

At 0825 GMT, the rouble was 0.5 percent weaker against the dollar at 58.46 and has lost 0.41 percent to trade at 68.07 versus the euro.

Gains in U.S. employment could seal the case for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in December, even though wage growth probably slowed. That should support the U.S. dollar.

Oil markets rose on Friday, supported by expectations the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries would extend supply cuts, which are tightening the market [O/R].

Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, was up 0.25 percent at $60.78 a barrel.

Dmitry Polevoy at ING Bank said demand for foreign currency on the domestic market could also press the rouble, apart from the U.S. jobs data expectations.

A dealer with a large Western bank said that market players bought the rouble during the week in hopes it would strengthen along with oil prices. But that didn’t happen and they started to buy dollars on Friday.

The Russian currency also came under pressure from debt repayments - according to central bank data, Russian banks and companies will have to repay a net $23.5 billion in the fourth quarter.

External factors on Thursday, such as President Donald Trump’s nomination of Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell to head the U.S. central bank, did not influence the market a lot, because the announcement was widely expected.

Russian stock indexes were up.

The dollar-denominated RTS index was up 0.56 percent to 1,125 points, while the rouble-based MICEX was 0.7 percent higher at 2,087 points.

Reporting by Polina Nikolskaya; additional reporting by Vladimir Abramov; Editing by Larry King

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