Energy Russian rouble sinks to 11-month low despite oil gains By Reuters April 4, 2023 Unsplash.com Major fossil fuel producers Saudi Arabia, Russia and China oppose the goal of tripling renewable energy capacity this decade The rouble ignored a leap in oil prices to slide past 78 against the dollar on Monday to its weakest mark in over 11 months, even as Russia’s benchmark stock index surged to a near seven-month high. Members of Opec+, which groups the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries with Russia and other allies, announced further oil output target cuts of about 1.16 million barrels per day (bpd), in a surprise move that caused a rise in oil prices. Russia also said it would extend a voluntary cut of 500,000 bpd until the end of 2023. Russia announced those cuts unilaterally in February following the introduction of Western price caps. The rouble was 0.8 percent lower at 84.91 versus the euro and had shed 0.5 percent against the yuan to 11.33. The rouble will continue to rise smoothly this week to the 77-79 range, said Promsvyazbank analyst Egor Zhilnikov. “Demand for foreign currency among banks remains elevated,” said Zhilnikov. “At the same time, the supply of dollars will decrease due to the low activity of exporters due to the start of the month factor.” Month-end tax payments that usually see exporters convert foreign exchange revenues into roubles tend to support the Russian currency. They were due last week. Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, was up 5.7 percent at $84.5 a barrel, hitting a near four-week high and supporting Russian stock indexes. The rouble-based Moex Russian index was 0.9 percent higher at 2,471.8 points, reaching 2,481.59 points in early trade, its strongest mark since September 6, 2022. The dollar-denominated RTS index was steady at 996.9 points. Moscow Exchange, Russia’s largest bourse, on Monday said it was launching futures trading in Indian rupees and Emirati dirhams from April 4, part of a wider finance and trade shift by Moscow towards countries that have not imposed sanctions over Russia’s actions in Ukraine. “We are seeing client requests for a fast response from the side of infrastructure due to the rapidly changing conditions on global markets,” said Maria Patrikeyeva, head of the exchange’s futures market, in a statement. Shares in state lender VTB rose over four percent after the bank said it would publish financial results for 2022 this week, with investors hoping to see evidence of an improved capital situation ahead of a planned secondary public offering.