Stocksak: Rouble edges lower as the end of tax payment period approaches

© Stocksak. In this illustration, taken June 24, 2022, a Russian One-Ruble Coin is shown in front the Kremlin in Moscow. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/Illustration

MOSCOW (Stocksak), Tuesday: The Russian ruble edged slightly lower against the dollar, as the end a favourable month for tax payments neared, while investors awaited a central banking rate decision later in the week.

The rouble was 0.3% less than the dollar at 61.33 GMT at 0732 GMT and had gained 0.4% in trade to 60.34 against the euro at 60.34 GMT. It had strengthened 0.1% against the Yuan to 8.32.

The rouble has been supported by a month-end fiscal period, during which export-oriented firms usually convert foreign exchange revenue into roubles to cover domestic tax liabilities. That support will end on Tuesday.

Promsvyazbank analysts wrote in a note that “support for rouble position is gradually decreasing due the approaching end to tax payments.”

The market is focused on Friday’s decision by the central bank, with most analysts polled at Stocksak expecting a hold of 7.5%.

Evgeny Zhornist, portfolio manager at Alfa Capital, stated that “The Bank of Russia will likely to take a cautious attitude in order to gather all data and assess options.”

He added that the rate-cutting process may be resumed next year as a result of reduced business activity, confidence, a drop Russia’s GDP and a strong Russian rouble all favor soft monetary policies.

The central bank will publish data on the inflation expectations of households, which it closely monitors ahead of its rate decisions later Tuesday.

The global benchmark for Russia’s main export was down 0.6% to $92.7 a barrel.

Russian stock indexes were fairly stable.

“Despite a positive start to the week it could be difficult to give local indices another leg up without significant drivers amid weakness in oil, other commodities,” stated BCS Global Markets.

The dollar-denominated RTS Index was 0.3% lower at 1,059.9 points. The MOEX Russian index, which is based on roubles, was unchanged at 2,063.7.

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