MOSCOW, June 16 Russian stock indexes bounced
off multi-month lows and the rouble inched higher on Friday,
supported by higher oil prices.
The market is closely watching the central bank which is
expected on Friday to trim its key rate and give hints on the
pace of further monetary policy easing.
Fifteen out of 23 analysts polled by Reuters said they
expected the central bank to cut the key rate to 8.75 percent
from 9.25 percent.
The rate decision, due at 1030 GMT, will be accompanied by a
press conference from central bank governor Elvira Nabiullina at
The central bank will also present a new set of economic
forecasts and is expected to raise its oil price assumption from
the current level of $40 per barrel for this year.
The rate cut, however, is unlikely to move the market as
lower rates are fully priced in.
"We think that monetary policy easing by the Bank of Russia
won't have a visible impact on the rouble, which we expect to
stabilise at 58 (versus the dollar) by the end of June," Rosbank
analysts said in a note.
The rouble was 0.3 percent stronger against the dollar at
57.74 and was little changed at 64.5 versus the
euro as of 0810 GMT.
Higher oil prices, with Brent crude futures gaining
0.8 percent to $47.3 per barrel, supported Russian stocks,
helping them to regain some ground after falling to levels last
seen in 2016.
The dollar-denominated RTS index was up 0.6 percent
to 997.9 points, while the rouble-based MICEX was 0.6
percent higher at 1,829.1 points after hitting its lowest since
February, 2016 of 1,774.56 the day before.
The Russian market has become a victim of dashed hopes about
the relationship between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian
President Vladimir Putin that once promised a thaw in diplomatic
ties. But far from lifting sanctions, U.S. lawmakers this week
voted for fresh, stickier, curbs while preventing Trump from
easing existing ones.
Contemplating unfavourable conditions on the stock market,
Russian authorities had to put on hold a stock market sale of a
25 percent stake in Russian state shipping company Sovcomflot,
which was initially planned for this week, people familiar with
the matter told Reuters.
For rouble poll data see reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=cpurl://apps.cp./Apps/fx-polls?RIC=RUB=
For Russian equities guide see
For Russian treasury bonds see
Russia in graphics: link.reuters.com/dun63s
(Reporting by Polina Nikolskaya; Editing by Andrey Ostroukh)