MOSCOW: The Russian rouble weakened to a one-week low against the dollar on Friday, as it failed to get the usual support from month-end tax payments, but was buttressed by capital controls, foreign currency sales and relatively high oil prices.
At 0747 GMT, the rouble was 0.3% weaker against the dollar at 89.15, earlier hitting 89.3075, its weakest point since Jan. 19.
It had gained 0.1 to trade at 96.46 versus the euro and was unchanged against the yuan at 12.38.
Month-end tax payments, due next week, usually see exporters convert their foreign currency revenue into roubles to meet local liabilities.
“Many exporters are trying to ‘spread’ FX revenue sales across the whole month, not postponing it to the final days before tax payments,” said Alor Broker’s Alexei Antonov.
“It should also be remembered that over 40% of Russian exports are settled in roubles, so the effect of the tax period will manifest itself less strongly than at the start of last year,” Antonov added.
The rouble may also get a boost should capital controls requiring exporters to convert foreign currency revenues be extended beyond April 30.
Russian rouble recovers vs dollar after sharp slide
The government’s proposal for an extension was swiftly opposed by the central bank this week.
Meanwhile, state FX sales at the equivalent of 16.7 billion roubles ($187.3 million) a day continue to provide support.
Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, was down 0.5% at $82.06 a barrel, just off the previous session’s two-month high.
Russian stock indexes were mixed.