(Updates prices, adds OFZ result)
MOSCOW, Oct 21 (Reuters) – The Russian rouble climbed to a one-month high against the dollar on Wednesday after three government bond auctions, as rekindled hopes for a new round of U.S. economic stimulus measures supported riskier assets.
Negotiations over a new coronavirus relief package were due to continue on Wednesday, with U.S. President Donald Trump having signalled a willingness to accept a $2.2 trillion aid bill despite opposition from his own Republican Party.
By 1455 GMT, the rouble was 0.8% firmer against the dollar at 76.70, earlier hitting its strongest mark since Sept. 23.
It had gained 0.4% to trade at 91.10 versus the euro , earlier dipping below 91 for the first time in a week.
The global risk-on mood had deepened the dollar’s fall against developed and emerging currencies, Dmitry Polevoy, head of investment at Locko Invest said in a note, adding that upcoming month-end tax payments would offer the rouble additional support.
Tax payments usually support the rouble as export-focused companies convert their foreign currency revenues to meet local liabilities.
The Russian finance ministry placed 309.59 billion roubles ($4 billion) worth of OFZ treasury bonds at a single auction and successfully placed two others on Wednesday.
OFZ bonds are used to plug holes in Russia’s budget and are popular among foreign investors thanks to their relatively lucrative yields.
Rising coronavirus cases at home and abroad continued to exert pressure on Russian assets, as did lingering political crises and a military conflict within Moscow’s sphere of influence. The Kremlin said Russia was not planning to impose any further lockdowns to contain the pandemic.
“Local instability comes from a lack of risk appetite and unstable oil price dynamics due to the pandemic, sanctions and the precarious geopolitical situation and the upcoming U.S. election,” BCS Global Markets said in a note.
Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, was down 3% at $41.87 a barrel.
Russian stock indexes were mixed.
The dollar-denominated RTS index was up 0.4% to 1,145.7 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 0.5% lower at 2,790.5 points.
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