Russian rouble slides past 100 per dollar as Putin speaks

By Alexander Marrow

(Reuters) -The Russian rouble weakened past 100 to the dollar as President Vladimir Putin spoke on Thursday, heading towards more than a seven-week low, hurt by reduced foreign currency supply from exporters early in the month.

Steady earlier in the session, the rouble’s slide came as Putin began a speech in Sochi, saying that the United States was seeking to impose its crumbling hegemony across the world and that the war in Ukraine showed how far the West had lost touch with reality.

By 1432 GMT, the rouble was 0.5% weaker against the dollar at 100.73 and had lost 0.6% to trade at 105.40 versus the euro. It had risen 0.3% against the yuan to 13.67 .

The rouble has lost support of a favourable month-end tax period that usually sees exporters convert FX revenues to meet local liabilities.

Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, was up 0.1% at $85.55 a barrel, but hit more than a five-week low earlier after a sharp slump in the previous session.

That drop could put pressure on the rouble, said chief analyst Bogdan Zvarich. But oil prices are still higher than they have been for most of this year.

Russia’s oil and gas revenues rose in September, boosted by higher oil prices and as Moscow finds new export destinations after Western price caps and an embargo on seaborne oil exports squeezed energy revenues.

Energy revenues are likely to continue recovering in October due to tax changes and high commodity prices.

The finance ministry’s expected rise in tax revenues from the sector in October could give the rouble some strong support, said Alor Broker’s Alexei Antonov, as oil companies would be forced to increase their sales of foreign currency export earnings.

“But this will happen either in the second half of the month or when the exchange rate goes above 100 roubles per dollar,” Antonov said.

Russian stock indexes were lower.

The dollar-denominated RTS index was down 0.5% to 986.2 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was unchanged at 3,133.4 points.

(Reporting by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Paul Simao)