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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Banks' Speculation Dampens Ruble

The ruble eased 0.5 percent against the dollar and euro currency basket Friday, partly erasing gains of the previous session, following speculation by banks, dealers said.

"There is active dollar buying taking place. ... These are speculative moves by large banks," said Artyom Roshchin, currency dealer at Alba Alliance bank.

The ruble stood at 29.73 to the basket, made up of 55 percent dollars and 45 percent euros, which the Central Bank uses to guide its managed float of the ruble.

On Thursday, the Central Bank allowed the ruble to appreciate against the basket in what analysts said looked like an attempt to curb inflation. The ruble is up 1.35 percent for the year to date. Dealers said the Central Bank was not seen during Friday's session and that trade volumes were relatively low.

"The exchange rate fluctuations have not yet reached the Central Bank's support levels," said Alexander Panasenko from Metallinvestbank.

Dealers also suggested market players were pulling out of ruble assets amid global jitters.

"This [dollar buying] is a reaction to problems on international financial markets," one said.