Rouble recovers to near 61 vs dollar after Putin’s speech in Russia’s far east

Rouble recovers to near 61 vs dollar after Putin’s speech in Russia’s far east

The rouble opened weaker on Wednesday but later recovered to around 61 against the dollar as President Vladimir Putin told an economic forum in Russia’s far east that the West’s aggressive attempts to isolate Russia with sanctions were failing.

Putin, speaking at Russia’s Eastern Economic Forum in the Pacific city of Vladivostok, said the West’s efforts were destroying the global economy just as Asia was rising to claim the future.

At 1314 GMT, the rouble was 0.3% stronger against the dollar at 61.09 and flat at 60.42 against the euro , shrugging off a drop in prices for oil, Russia’s key export.

This year, the rouble has been the world’s best-performing currency, buoyed by emergency capital controls rolled out by the central bank in a bid to halt a mass sell-off after Feb. 24 when Russia began what it calls “a special military operation” in Ukraine.

This helped to avoid an economic meltdown that many had predicted and has allowed Russian officials to make more positive forecasts about the health of the economy.

In Vladivostok this week, Russia’s top two banks said the banking sector had overcome the worst in terms of the fallout from sanctions, with VTB (VTBR.MM) CEO Andrei Kostin saying banks likely no longer need capitalisation.

Russian stocks were up following a short-lived sell-off that was caused by profit taking after the Moscow Exchange announced it would provide equity market access to non-residents from friendly states from Sept. 12, which triggered “overhang fears”, said Alfa Bank Equity Strategist John Walsh in a note.

The rouble-based MOEX Russian index (.IMOEX) was 0.2% higher at 2,430.1 points. The dollar-denominated RTS index (.IRTS) was up 0.1% to 1,253.2 points.

The MOEX struck a more than four-month high of 2,492.15 points in the previous session, having received support last week from gas giant Gazprom (GAZP.MM) which reported record net profit in the first half of 2022 and recommended paying interim dividends after skipping its annual payout for the first time since 1998.

Shares in Aeroflot (AFLT.MM) outperformed the market and gained 3.5% on the day after Russia’s flagship carrier agreed to buy 339 aircraft from Rostekh unit United Aircraft Corporation.