- This content was produced in Russia where the law limits coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine
The rouble firmed to a close to four-week high compared to the dollar in early trade on Friday, backed by month-end tax payments that increased demand for the Russian currency, while shares in fertilizer producer Phosagro jumped after strong results.
At 0704 GMT, the rouble was 0.5% stronger compared to the dollar at 59.20 after briefly reaching 57.70, a level previously seen on July 25. Compared to the euro, the rouble surged 0.9% to 59.65.
The rouble is expected to see support from month-end taxes that normally cause export-focused companies to push up conversion of their foreign currency revenues to fulfill local duties. Year-to-date, the rouble has become the world’s top performing currency owing to capital controls that Russia placed after commencing what it calls “a special military operation” in Ukraine on Feb. 24.
Rouble volatility has weakened after wild swings that saw it sink to a record low of 121.53 to the dollar on the Moscow Exchange in March and then rebound to a seven-year peak of 50.01 in June.
On the stock market, the dollar-denominated RTS index (.IRTS) shed 0.2% to 1,159.4 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index (.IMOEX) slid 0.4% to 2,186.7 points.
Phosagro’s (PHOR.MM) shares outpaced the market and jumped 4.4% higher on the day after the company said late on Thursday that its net profit increased 165% in the first half of this year and its board suggested paying 780 roubles ($13.18) per share in dividends.
($1 = 59.20 roubles)