Volatile rouble recovers from recent lows after U.S. election

MOSCOW, Nov 5 (Reuters) – The Russian rouble firmed on the Moscow Exchange on Thursday compared with its last official close but was down from where it had traded in global markets on Wednesday, which was a public holiday in Russia.

The rouble regained ground compared to the currency’s lows earlier this week as the financial markets waited for the outcome of the U.S. presidential vote count, where currently Democratic challenger Joe Biden is predicting a win.

At 0727 GMT, the rouble was 1.2% stronger on the day compared with Tuesday’s close, trading at 78.45 against the dollar. On Monday, it hit 80.95, its weakest since March.

Compared with the levels for the rouble on global markets on Wednesday when the Moscow Exchange was closed, the rouble was down 1.2% on the day after rising to 77.3850 on Nov. 4.

The Russian currency outperformed its peers in the past two days, becoming “the leader of the day on Tuesday and Wednesday,” VTB Capital said.

On Thursday, the rouble is likely to hover within a range on 78-79 against the dollar, Locko Invest said.

Financial markets are braced for prolonged uncertainty over the U.S. election as Republican incumbent President Donald Trump has opened a multi-pronged attack on vote counts in several states by pursuing lawsuits and a recount.

For weeks, the rouble has been under pressure from fears of more sanctions against Moscow, something that some analysts said was possible should Biden win the election.

Versus the euro, the rouble traded at 92.19, moving away from 94.1425, its weakest level since late 2015 that it hit earlier this week.

Russian stock indexes were up. The dollar-denominated RTS index gained 2.4% to 1,133.9 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 1.4% higher at 2,825.2 points.

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