Early at today's special session with tomorrow settlements, the weighted average exchange rate was 28.51 RUR/USD, which was RUR0.01 lower than the official dollar rate set by the Russian Central Bank for March 1. Thus, today, the US dollar weakened against the ruble. The previous decline of the dollar was registered on February 24, which was almost a week ago.
Among other things, the resumption of the ruble advance was triggered by a recent statement of Russian President Vladimir Putin that "lately, the national economy has been strengthening", and that the government would do its best "to enhance it". In the opinion of commercial bank dealers, marketers could perceive this statement of the Russian leader as a signal to a further dollar drop. In addition, over the past three business days, the US dollar stably strengthened at the UTS, and its today's weakening could be caused by a correction after a growth that had reached RUR0.03 since February 25. A low activity of banks at the special session testifies to this. Forty minutes after the opening bell, the trading volume in this market sector was as low as $14m.