The Central Bank had been containing the dollar rate increase beyond the level of 30.20 rubles per dollar at the morning trading session today, banking experts said in an interview with RBC. They found it difficult to give the limit of a possible rise in the exchange rate without the Central Bank's interference. At the same time they pointed out that commercial banks' clients are showing a high demand for dollars now. Given the total trade volume of almost $135 million, the experts estimated the volume of foreign currency sales by the Central Bank at the Unified Trading Session today at about $100 million. As a result, the weighted-mean dollar rate did not surpass the level at which the Central Bank offered dollars for sale. At the same time, the dollar rate increased by 11 kopecks to 30.19 rubles per dollar. Accordingly, the dollar rate rose by 24 kopecks, from 29.95 to 30.19 rubles per dollar, during only three morning trading sessions of December 10, 11 and 13. There has not been such a fast increase in the dollar rate since the very beginning of this year. The experts emphasized the fact that no currency interventions by the Central Bank had been reported at MICEX this morning. Consequently, the maximum rate for 'tomorrow' deals reached the level of 30.27 rubles per dollar at the afternoon trading session as of noontime today.
More than 3,500 people were detained during unprecedented mass protests that swept across all of Russia in support of Alexey Navalny on January 23