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Ruble Likely to Fluctuate, but Remain Stable in Coming Months

A senior official at the Central Bank says that the ruble will see fluctuation, but will remain mostly stable

(Reuters) - The ruble rate will most likely fluctuate in the coming months but it should be largely stable if there are no big changes in oil prices or sanctions against Russia, a senior official at the Central Bank wrote Monday.

Ksenia Yudayeva, a first deputy governor, wrote in an opinion piece in business daily Vedomosti that the ruble had been adjusting to new conditions.

<figcaption>Central Bank headquarters in Moscow</figcaption>
Central Bank headquarters in Moscow

"As a whole, in my opinion, the ruble has entered a process of stabilization around new levels that take into account higher … [than expected] oil prices and a lower premium for geopolitical risks and risks of limiting capital flows," she wrote.

"In the absence of significant changes [… to oil prices, imposing new sanctions or lifting existing ones, unexpected changes to monetary policy in other countries], the rate in the medium term will be relatively stable."

On Friday, the ruble closed at 51.88 rubles per dollar — stronger than an all-time low of 80 rubles per dollar it briefly touched in mid-December.

But the currency has seen two Fridays in a row of significant falls following solid mid-week gains. On Friday, it fell 5 percent on the day.

"It could be said that, most likely, this is connected to the fact that a group of investors closes its ruble positions ahead of the weekend," Yudayeva wrote.

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