MOSCOW, Oct 21 (Reuters) - The Russian rouble firmed ahead
of three government bond auctions on Wednesday, hitting a more
than one-week high against the dollar, as rekindled hopes for a
new round of U.S. economic stimulus measures supported riskier
At 0733 GMT, the rouble was 0.4% firmer against the dollar
at 77.04, its strongest since Oct. 13. It had
gained 0.2% to trade at 91.30 versus the euro.
Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia's
main export, was down 1.1% at $42.67 a barrel.
Negotiations over a new coronavirus relief package were due
to continue on Wednesday, with U.S. President Donald Trump
having signalled a willingness to accept a $2.2 trillion aid
bill despite opposition from his own Republican Party.
That helped riskier assets, but the external backdrop for
Russia was only faintly positive, said Andrei Kochetkov, an
Otkritie Brokerage analyst. The finance ministry's three OFZ
auctions might give the rouble the chance to firm past the 77
and 91 thresholds versus the dollar and euro respectively, he
Last week saw a record high placement of Russian government
bonds, which are usually seen as a gauge of investor sentiment
towards Russian assets.
Rising coronavirus cases at home and abroad continued to
exert pressure on Russian assets, as did lingering political
crises and a military conflict within Moscow's sphere of
"Local instability comes from a lack of risk appetite and
unstable oil price dynamics due to the pandemic, sanctions and
the precarious geopolitical situation and the upcoming U.S.
election," said BCS Global Markets in a note.
Russian stock indexes were rising.
The dollar-denominated RTS index was up 0.9% to
1,151.2 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was
0.5% higher at 2,815.8 points.
For Russian equities guide see
For Russian treasury bonds see
(Reporting by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Mark Potter)