The ruble rose in price on the Moscow Stock Exchange on Tuesday and updated its maximum in a week on the news that the US administration did not dare to impose tough sanctions in connection with the Alexei Navalny case.
The dollar fell by a ruble per hour, and the euro fell below 89 rubles for the first time in two weeks after it became known that the prepared sanctions package would affect only officials, but would not affect either sectors of the economy or oligarchs.
According to Bloomberg sources in the White House, 10 Russian officials will fall under the restrictive measures agreed with the EU.
According to Reuters, among them are the head of the Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin, the head of the National Guard, Viktor Zolotov, and Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov.
At 15.21 Moscow time, the dollar with “tomorrow” settlements is being sold on the Moscow Exchange at 73.8850 rubles (-28 kopecks), although at noon the rate reached 74.7275 rubles, adding 55 kopecks relative to the close of trading the day before.
The euro started the day with an increase of 40 kopecks, to 89.72 rubles, but fell to 88.5050 rubles, the lowest since December 14.
“The thesis that the sanctions will be of a more general nature and will touch on some fundamental topics has not yet been confirmed,” said Evgeny Kogan, president of the Moscow Partners IG.
If the news about the softness of US sanctions is confirmed, the ruble may strengthen by 2-3%, and by mid-spring – reach 70 per dollar or even lower, he said.
However, the process may be slowed down by the Russian authorities, who are covering the “hole” in the federal budget by means of devaluation.
In March, the Ministry of Finance may double the purchase of foreign currency on the market to replenish the National Welfare Fund. According to a Reuters poll, 119 billion rubles will be allocated for foreign exchange interventions, or 5.4 billion rubles a day against 2.4 billion in February.