October 15, 2019 / 8:14 AM / a month ago

Rouble steady ahead of bond auctions despite oil drop

MOSCOW, Oct 15 (Reuters) - The Russian rouble opened unchanged on Tuesday, below a two-week high reached last week, with falling oil prices cancelling out potential gains ahead of Wednesday’s OFZ treasury bond auctions.

Market activity is expected to return to usual levels on Tuesday as traders in the United States return from a public holiday.

At 0746 GMT, the rouble was 0.2% stronger against the dollar at 64.19 and had gained 0.2% to trade at 70.77 versus the euro.

Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, was down 0.5% at $59.1 a barrel.

As optimism over China-U.S. trade talks fades, the attention of global markets may turn to the risk in Britain of a disorderly exit from the European Union, ahead of crucial talks on Thursday and Friday.

Inflows into OFZ treasury bonds were driven up by strong indications from the central bank last week and on Monday that it could cut its key rate as soon as the next rate-setting meeting on Oct. 25.

Market analyst Mikhail Poddubsky of Promsvyazbank expected the rouble to remain between 64.0 and 64.5 in the short term.

“To some extent, the inflow of speculative capital into the Russian debt market may support the Russian currency,” said Poddubsky.

Russian stock indexes were up.

The dollar-denominated RTS index was up 0.4% to 1326.9 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 0.3% higher at 2704.6 points.

The Moscow Exchange itself made early gains of 1.2% as its new chief executive officer, Yury Denisov, gave his first interview since taking the role in May and announced a higher threshold for dividend payments.

For Russian equities guide see

For Russian treasury bonds see (By Alexander Marrow Editing by Robert Birsel)

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