Ruble strengthens to five-month high

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The currency has been rallying due to increased sales of foreign earnings by exporters

The Russian ruble continued to strengthen against major currencies on Monday, jumping to its highest level against the dollar since late January, trading data from the Moscow Exchange (MOEX) shows.

The ruble reached 88.4 to the US dollar as of 8:30am GMT, its highest point rate since January 30. It also gained against the European single currency, trading at around 96 to the euro, also a five-month high.

Analysts note that the Russian currency has been strengthening over the past week amid higher sales of foreign currency earnings by exporters ahead of ruble-denominated dividend payments this week, and tax payments.

The ruble has also been supported by expectations that the Central Bank will maintain its tight monetary policy, and could introduce another interest rate hike this year. The regulator has held the key interest rate at 16% since December to restrain inflation, which is nearly double the target level. The deputy head of the central bank, Aleksey Zabotkin, said last week that the regulator may decide to raise the rate at a meeting in June.

Analysts have also partially attributed the strong ruble to the delayed effect of an $18.8 billion trade surplus that Russia saw in March, the highest figure since January 2022.

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