December 7, 2018 / 2:21 PM / 9 days ago

Ruble surges as OPEC, Russia near oil output deal

A view shows a Russian one rouble coin in this picture illustration taken October 26, 2018. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Russian ruble gained on Friday as oil prices surged higher on reports that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia have edged closer to agreeing on a cut in output.

The ruble briefly touched 66.15 versus the dollar as of 1348 GMT, its strongest since Monday, as Brent crude futures rose to $63.29 per barrel, away from this day’s low of $59.10.

The ruble got a boost after major oil producers gave OPEC the green light to reduce oil output by around 0.8 million barrels per day from 2019.

An OPEC-plus meeting in Vienna in which Russia was taking part was about to start as of 1354 GMT.

Against the euro, the rouble was 0.9 percent stronger at 75.45 EURRUBTN=MCX.

“Today, in focus for the rouble will be further OPEC-plus talks on output cuts, as well as U.S. monthly labor market data,” VTB Capital said in a note.

U.S. payroll data supported the rouble and other emerging- market currencies. A slowdown in jobs growth supports expectations of fewer interest rate increases from the Federal Reserve in 2019.

Russian stock indexes moved higher, recovering from this week lows hit on Thursday.

The dollar-denominated RTS index .IRTS was up 1.9 percent to 1,155.9 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index .IMOEX was 0.8 percent higher at 2,430.3 points.

Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh, editing by Larry King

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