December 5, 2017 / 11:20 AM / in a year

UPDATE 1-Rouble firms, shrugs off increased state FX purchases

(Adds market reaction to state FX purchases, updates prices)

MOSCOW, Dec 5 (Reuters) - The Russian rouble firmed on Tuesday, shrugging off an increase in daily purchases of foreign currency by the finance ministry.

The ministry said it will lift its daily purchases of foreign currency to the equivalent of 12.7 billion roubles ($217 million) between Dec. 7 and 28, more than analysts predicted.

In the preceding period, from Nov. 8 to Dec. 6, the ministry bought 5.8 billion roubles of forex a day.

“The market was generally ready for higher FX purchases by the finance ministry,” said Sergey Romanchuk, chief trader at Metallinvestbank in Moscow.

The finance ministry, which started buying dollars and other foreign currencies for its coffers in early 2017, said it will buy a total of 203.9 billion roubles worth of foreign currency by the end of the month.

After its announcement, the rouble briefly weakened to 58.69 versus the dollar from 58.64 seen shortly before.

By 1037 GMT, the rouble returned to earlier levels, gaining 0.3 percent to 58.64 against the dollar. Versus the euro, the rouble added 0.2 percent to 69.58.

Russian stock market indexes edged lower as Brent crude oil , a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, slipped 0.2 percent to $62.35 a barrel.

The dollar-denominated RTS index shed 0.4 percent to 1,129.9 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index, previously known as MICEX, declined 0.8 percent to 2,103.6 points.

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: ($1 = 58.6534 roubles) (Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh and Vladimir Abramov; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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