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Russian rouble pares losses vs dollar in volatile trade

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-The Russian rouble dived towards a more than an 18-month low on Tuesday before paring most losses in a volatile session, under pressure from domestic demand for foreign currency and a drop in oil prices.

By 1034 GMT, the rouble was 0.3% weaker against the dollar at 99.63. It had been down more than 1% earlier in the session and fell to its weakest point since March, 2022 on Monday at 102.3450.

It had lost 0.8% to trade at 105.55 versus the euro and shed 0.4% against the yuan to 13.64 .

“If large volumes (of FX) for sale come, as yesterday, in the second half of trading, the rouble could strengthen at the end of the day,” Promsvyazbank analysts said in a note.

The rouble had strengthened sharply late in the previous session.

The rouble’s last tumble into triple digits in August led the Bank of Russia to make an emergency 350 basis-point rate hike to 12% and authorities to discuss reintroducing controls to buttress the currency, but interventions – verbal or otherwise – have been more limited this time around.

, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, was down 0.6% at $87.63 a barrel, giving up some of the previous session’s gains.

Russian stock indexes were lower.

The dollar-denominated RTS index was down 0.5% to 1,002.2 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 0.1% lower at 3,170.0 points.

Shares in dominant lender Sberbank were down 0.4%, slightly underperforming the wider market, after the bank said it had made 1.13 trillion roubles ($11.45 billion) in profit between January and September.

“Despite the increase in the key rate and central bank restrictions, Sber continues to demonstrate growth,” said Yevgeny Kogan, professor at Russia’s Higher School of Economics. “The bank may show a record profit of 1.5 trillion roubles for the year.”

($1 = 98.7000 roubles)

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