Central Bank Seen Steadying Ruble

The ruble was little changed against the Central Bank's dollar-euro basket Monday on speculation that the country sold foreign reserves to buoy the currency.

The Central Bank was "intervening, selling dollars" to support the ruble Monday, said Mikhail Galkin, a fixed-income analyst at MDM Bank. The Central Bank's policy is not to comment on its daily activities in the foreign-exchange market.

The currency was at 30.39 versus the basket at 6:08 p.m., from 30.38 on Friday. The Central Bank keeps the currency within a trading band against the basket to limit the impact of its fluctuations on the competitiveness of Russian exports.

If the bank entered the market, it may have sold foreign currency at "the level they've intervened in the past," said Jon Harrison, an emerging-markets currency strategist at Dresdner Kleinwort in London, citing 30.40 as the most likely level.

The ruble fell to 25.58 per dollar, from 25.53 at the end of last week, and was at 36.28 against the euro, from 36.30.

Investors have pulled about $35 billion out of Russia since mid-August, when the country fought a five-day war with Georgia, BNP Paribas said last week. The conflict sent equity, debt and currency markets reeling.

The government will create conditions to attract a "new wave of investment" after the war, President Dmitry Medvedev told business leaders Monday in the Kremlin, without being more specific.