MOSCOW, July 14 (Reuters) - The Russian rouble strengthened on Thursday, supported by companies’ accumulation of roubles for dividend payments and shrugging off a plunge in the oil price on Wednesday.
At 0800 GMT, the rouble was 0.4 percent stronger against the dollar at 63.59 and had gained 0.3 percent to 70.57 versus the euro.
Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, was up 0.6 percent at $46.6 a barrel, after sliding by almost 5 percent on Wednesday, in turn reversing gains of a similar magnitude on Tuesday.
Despite these oil price gyrations the rouble has been relatively stable, which analysts said showed that the forex market has found an equilibrium based on the need for companies to accumulate roubles for approaching dividend payments.
“We can talk about a balance of supply and demand in the context of dividend payments, which was found precisely in the region of 64 roubles per dollar,” Instaforex analyst Igor Kovalev said in a note.
He added that although the conversion of these dividends by foreign investors would soon begin to weigh on the rouble, the onset of Russia’s monthly tax period next week would provide compensatory demand for roubles.
Russian share indexes were mixed, rising in dollar terms but falling rouble terms, reflecting the slight strengthening of the rouble.
The dollar-denominated RTS index was up 0.3 percent to 955 points, while the rouble-based MICEX was 0.4 percent lower at 1,929 points.
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For Russian equities guide see
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Russia in graphics: link.reuters.com/dun63s (Reporting By Jason Bush; Editing by Toby Chopra)