US dollar sets historical record against Russian ruble

Another day of tender at the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange (MICEX) ended with the growth of the US dollar against the ruble to 32.2135 rubles per dollar, which marked the absolute record of the US currency in Russia in a decade. The dollar-euro basket continues to become more expensive too, Interfax reports.

The Central Bank of Russia weakened the ruble against the dual currency basket for the fourth time since the beginning of the year. As a result, the dollar rate went up to 32.2 rubles per one dollar, whereas the euro set another historical record as it hit the level of 42.37 rubles per dollar. The ruble rate against the dual currency basket (0.55 dollars and 0.45 euros) dropped by almost 50 kopeks to 36.8 rubles on the morning on January 15.

Some currency exchange offices in Moscow sell the US dollar at the price of 35 rubles already, RBC reports. Thus, the historical record of the ruble decline was broken today – the US dollar cost 31.88 rubles on January 9, 2003.

The weakening of the ruble will soon stop, dealers say. “The ruble devaluation is good for the Central Bank and everyone else. The sooner the Bank ends the devaluation – and the Bank will end it sooner or later – the sooner it will be able to reduce interest rates,” a foreign bank dealer told the K2Kapital news website.

The speed, at which the Central Bank devalues the ruble, exceeds all expectations. Many analysts believed that the dual currency basket would reach the level of 36-37 rubles in February of the current year, although it will most likely happen already in the middle of January.

Market members say that the ruble may hit another low – 50 or 55 rubles per one US dollar in the event the Central Bank stops its activities on the market.

The official dollar rate for January 16, 2009 : 32.21 rubles per dollar (+99.09 kopeks). The official euro rate for January 16: 42.38 rubles per euro (+97.28 kopeks).

Russia ’s international reserves made up $426.5 billion as of January 9, The Bank of Russia said. The reserves amounted to $426.0 billion as of January 2 and thus gained $0.5 billion in one week.

The international reserves of the Russian Federation made up $438.2 billion as of December 26, 2008. Thus, the reserves dropped from December 26 to January 2 by $12.2 billion. In addition, the reserves dropped during the first two weeks of the new year by $11.7 billion, Interfax reports.

The international reserves of the Russian Federation dropped by $51.7 billion in 2008 (10.8 percent) after a nine-year growth. The reserves increased by $466.539 billion during 1999-2007, which makes an increase of 39 times – from $12.223 billion to $478.762 billion.

Russia takes the third place in the world on the amount of international reserves, following China and Japan with $1.946 trillion and $1.003 trillion respectively.

Source: agencies

Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov