February 10, 2017 / 8:03 AM / a year ago

Rouble rises thanks to higher oil prices

MOSCOW, Feb 10 (Reuters) - The Russian rouble rose early on Friday thanks to higher oil prices.

At 0736 GMT, the rouble was 0.2 percent stronger against the dollar at 58.8 and had gained 0.3 percent to trade at 62.7 versus the euro.

Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, was up 0.3 percent at $55.8 a barrel.

Oil prices rose on Friday, supported by strong Chinese crude imports and OPEC-led production cuts, although ample U.S. fuel inventories weighed on the market.

The rouble’s upside, however, is limited by the central bank, which buys foreign currency on the domestic market on behalf of the finance ministry.

The banks purchases foreign currency in the amount equivalent to 6.3 billion roubles ($106.74 million) a day for the country’s fiscal reserves.

The bank’s Governor Elvira Nabiullina reiterated earlier this week that these purchases do not violate the bank’s policy of letting the rouble float freely and should not be viewed as interventions designed to weaken the rouble.

The currency purchases, which started on Tuesday, has not effected the trading so far, analysts at Rosbank said in a note.

Russian share stock market indexes were slightly higher after posting a small decline on Thursday. The dollar-denominated RTS index was up 0.3 percent to 1,167 points, while the rouble-based MICEX was 0.2 percent higher at 2,179 points.

Russia’s largest toy retailer Detsky Mir was in focus as the company’s shares saw their first day of trading on the Moscow exchange after the most high-profile Russian IPO since 2014.

For rouble poll data see reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=cpurl://apps.cp./Apps/fx-polls?RIC=RUB=

For Russian equities guide see

For Russian treasury bonds see

Russia in graphics: link.reuters.com/dun63s (Reporting by Polina Nikolskaya; Editing by Andrey Ostroukh)

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