October 9, 2018 / 10:12 AM / 2 months ago

Russian rouble follows oil higher, OFZ auction in focus

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s rouble rose early on Tuesday, helped by stronger prices for main export oil, while shares in Novorossiisk Commercial Sea Port jumped on news that oil pipeline monopoly Transneft had upped its stake in the port.

Traders were waiting to see if the finance ministry would resume weekly auctions - where it borrows by placing OFZ government bonds - that have largely been cancelled since late August amid what officials said were adverse market conditions.

VTB Capital said in a note it was expecting the ministry to either cancel the auction or cut down the issue, given market volatility and what it called the ministry’s conservative approach to state borrowing.

The rouble gained 0.2 percent to 66.43 versus the dollar by 0908 GMT and 0.4 percent to 76.20 versus the euro.

Brent crude oil was up 1.20 percent at $84.91 a barrel.

Shares in Novorossiisk Commercial Sea Port, known as NMTP, gaining 8.2 percent a day after Transneft said it has raised its stake in the company to 60.6 percent.

Shares in Transneft were 1.2 percent higher on the day (TRNF_p.MM).

The dollar-denominated RTS index was up 1.1 percent at 1,171.15 points, while its rouble-based peer MOEX was 0.8 percent higher at 2,473.4 points.

Strong resistance for the MOEX index lies at 2,380-2,400, while a move towards new record highs above 2,500 looks questionable for now, BCS brokerage said.

Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh and Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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