UPDATE 1-Rouble steady after c.bank rate unchanged, stocks fall
(Updates prices, adds comments)
MOSCOW Oct 14 (Reuters) - The rouble was little changed on Monday after the central bank left its key interest rate on hold as expected, while uncertainty about the U.S. budget standoff kept a lid on risk appetite.
Russia's central bank left its benchmark one-week minimum auction repo rate at 5.5 percent on inflation concerns.
However, the bank removed a phrase it had included in last month's statement, which said it saw the level of money market rates as acceptable for the near future, leaving investors guessing about its next move.
At 1350 GMT the rouble was flat against the dollar at 32.27 and was down 0.2 percent versus the euro at 43.84 , leaving it 0.1 percent weaker at 37.48 against the dollar-euro basket.
"We think it (the central bank) will want to see more data about improving inflation and inflationary expectations before delivering a rate cut," said Alexander Morozov, an economist at HSBC, in a note to clients.
The three-month dollar/rouble rate for non-deliverable forwards, which are widely used by non-residents to get exposure to the Russian currency market, edged down to 6.25 percent from 6.28 percent on Friday, signalling stronger expectations of rate cuts in future.
The central bank will also offer on Monday up to 500 billion roubles in an auction of three-month funds secured by non-market assets and guarantees.
A successful auction would help ease rouble liquidity ahead of Russia's monthly tax payment period, which starts this week, fuelling a further decline of the 3-month Mosprime rate , an interbank money market rate that is currently at 6.77 percent, VTB Capital analysts said.
The central bank may also want to wait for a positive resolution of the U.S. public debt crisis, which could support the rouble and remove the need for interventions on the currency market, Morozov added.
Concerns over the U.S. budget impasse dissuaded investors from betting on riskier assets, including Russian stocks.
The rouble-denominated MICEX was down 0.4 percent at 1507 points after hitting eight-month highs last week. The dollar-denominated RTS fell by the same margin to 1472 points.
"The market talked last week about the entry of foreign players in Russia, but as usually turns out, this is followed by sales. Now the market has an impression that not all of the risks are priced in," said Vadim Feldblum at BCS.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa launched its road-show for a $1.3-1.4 billion share offering on the Moscow exchange, announcing a price range that indicated a scaling back of its previous valuation target.
The announced price range values the company at $8.1-8.8 billion, well below a previous valuation of $9-15 billion announced in May, suggesting tepid investor interest.
The order book for an initial public offer by Russian credit card company Tinkoff Credit Systems was fully covered in a London flotation expected to raise $870 million and value the company at up to $3.2 billion.
For rouble poll data see
For Russian equities guide see
For Russian treasury bonds see
Russia in graphics: link.reuters.com/dun63s (Reporting by Maya Dyakina; Additional reporting by Zlata Garasyuta, editing by Jason Bush and Gareth Jones)
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