The Russian ruble weakened on Thursday, driven by expectations that Russia may relax its temporary capital control measures further, while stocks fell as the country continued what it calls “a special military operation” in Ukraine.
Currently, Russian exporters are obliged to sell 80 percent of their forex revenues in the first three days after receiving it under a rule established by President Vladimir Putin in late-February to limit ruble’s volatility amid western sanctions.
At 0739 GMT, the ruble fell 2 percent to 81.50, heading away from its strongest level since Nov. 11 of 71 it hit last week.
Against the euro, the ruble shed around 2.5 percent to 88.55 after briefly sliding beyond the 90 mark.
The ruble eased this week after the central bank scrapped a 12 percent commission for buying foreign currency through brokerages and promised to lift a temporary ban on selling foreign exchange cash to individuals from April 18.
But the ruble retains support from export-focused companies that are still obliged to sell their forex revenues on the domestic market.
The dollar-ruble pair is expected to stay within a range of 79-81 to the dollar, Promsvyazbank said.
Russian actions in Ukraine remained in focus, along with a risk of new Western sanctions and expectations that the economy is heading for its sharpest contraction since 1994.
Inflation has already accelerated to its highest since February 2002, reaching 17.5 percent in annual terms as of April 8.
Russian stock indexes were down.
The dollar-denominated RTS index slid 3.2 percent to 965 points. The ruble-based MOEX Russian index was 1.2 percent lower at 2,497.8 points.