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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ruble Slides On Slew of Bad News

The ruble lost 3 kopeks against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday as the Central Bank withdrew its support.

The ruble's weighted average for Wednesday settlement fell to 28.65 per dollar in a unified session of eight exchanges after 28.62 per dollar Tuesday.

The Central Bank lowered its official ruble rate to 28.65 per dollar from 28.62 on Tuesday, based as usual on the results of the unified session. "The Central Bank made a show of buying dollars at the morning session and has withdrawn its offer from the market," said Metallinvestbank dealer Sergei Romanchuk.

Dealers said the Central Bank had apparently bid $100 million at the morning trading session, but estimates of how much it bought varied widely.

The bank had maintained its 28.68 rubles per dollar offer for many days outlining the support level for the ruble.

Vladislav Bogatyryov, head of hard- currency operations at Probiznesbank, said the market was also depressed by gloomy world markets and lower oil prices. "Everything is bad in the world, only we have been living well while the Central Bank held its offer," he said.

Bogatyryov said the market was also worried by Russian inflation. The government expects the consumer price index to rise to about 7 percent in the first quarter, compared with around 4 percent in the same period last year.

Romanchuk said the currency's fall could be curbed if overnight ruble rates, currently at 10 percent to 15 percent, rose ahead of next week's treasury bill auction. "Maybe that is why the Central Bank is not holding its offer, thinking the situation will ease by itself," he said.

Rubles for Thursday delivery were weaker in afternoon trade, quoted at 28.7401 per dollar by the end of trade after the previous average of 28.6527 per dollar.