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Russian rouble steadies near 105 vs dollar as volatile OFZ trading resumes -Breaking


© Reuters. View of Russian roubles in this illustration taken March 25, 2021. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/Illustration

(Reuters) – The Russian rouble remained at a level of 105 against the dollar in Moscow Monday. Meanwhile, OFZ treasury bond trades returned to volatile mode as Russia seeks to slowly resume its operations on its financial market.

After an emergency rate increase in February, the central bank maintained its key interest rate of 20% Friday. It also stated that it will begin purchasing OFZ bonds on Monday when the Moscow Exchange reopened trading, hoping to reduce volatility.

The rouble had gained 0.3% against the dollar by 1018 GMT and lost 0.4% at 115.15 against the euro.

The last time rouble bids for dollar were indicated in offshore markets was at 105.87, after earlier trade had seen 93.6.


Pre-market trading saw prices for some OFZ bonds in rouble plummet by one-third, before the main session resumed at 10:00 GMT. Moscow Exchange data indicated that this was a result of data from Moscow Exchange.

Refinitiv Eikon data indicated that Russia’s benchmark 10 year OFZ bonds rose to 19.74% during pre-market trading before falling to 13.3% at the main trading session. The rate of Russia’s OFZ bonds moves in inverse relation to price movements.

SOVA Capital stated that the central bank’s intervention in the market would provide liquidity for the banking system, and aid the bond curve to adjust to the new environment. Short-term rates will remain close to 20%, but higher than the key rate at 20%, and the curve inverted.

Moscow Exchange stated Monday that sales of OFZ bond by non-residents (who used to hold 19.1% as of February 1) will be denied between March 21st & April 1.

The bourse stated that these investors would be able to conduct repo or derivative transactions. They can also buy securities when trading returns on the stock exchange.

Last stock and bond trades were made on February 25th on the Moscow Exchange. As the markets became unstable due to Western sanctions, the central banks stopped trading.

While the bank does not yet know when stock trading will resume, it is still trying to find ways to remove a large backlog while also avoiding market collapse. However, only a few financial market operations were allowed to resume in the coming weeks.

On Monday, Russia’s lower house will debate the nomination by President Vladimir Putin of Elvira Nabullina as Central Bank Governor.

($1 = 104.8520 roubles)

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