Russian rouble down with oil prices, trade remains thin

Russian rouble down with oil prices, trade remains thin

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Sheets of the newly designed Russian 100-rouble banknotes are seen at the Goznak printing factory in Moscow, Russia July 6, 2022. Moscow News Agency/Handout via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The rouble opened weaker on Wednesday amid lower oil prices and thin trading volumes during public holidays in Russia.

At 0714 GMT, the rouble was 0.6% weaker against the dollar at 71.54 and had lost 1.1% to trade at 75.64 versus the euro. It had shed 0.6% against the yuan to 10.17.

Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia's main export, was down 0.4% at $81.8 a barrel.

The rouble endured a volatile year in 2022, slumping to a record low 120 per dollar in March soon after Russia shook markets by sending tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine, but then recovered on the support of capital controls and a collapse in imports.

    The imposition of a Western oil price cap and embargo hurt the rouble in December, but analysts expect the currency to remain relatively resilient in 2023 thanks to Russia's strong current account surplus.

Trading activity is expected to be low this week and recover to regular levels after Jan. 9, the end of Russia's New Year holidays.

Russian stock indexes were mixed in early trade on Wednesday.

The dollar-denominated RTS index was down 0.5% to 958.52 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 0.2% higher at 2,176.77 points.

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