On Friday the Russian ruble rose as it began to recover from its weakest levels in 2.5 years seen a day before amid possible new U.S. sanctions. At 0720 GMT, the ruble was 0.5 percent stronger against the dollar at 68.94 RUBUTSTN=MCX and had gained 0.39 percent to trade at 80.19 versus the euro EURRUBTN=MCX. On Thursday, the ruble crashed to its weakest levels in two and a half years, pressured by fears of more Western sanctions after Britain revealed details about the Salisbury nerve agent attack.
Later that day, U.S. lawmakers discussing possible new sanctions on Russia for meddling in U.S. elections and other international actions, said they may consider measures targeting the country’s sovereign debt or wealthy and politically connected business leaders known as oligarchs.
“The possibility of introducing a ban on buying new Russian sovereign debt has increased,” Promsvyazbank said in a research note on Friday.
Russian officials tried to calm down the markets.
The Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina said her bank might need to tighten monetary policy to control upside risks to inflation, days before the rate-setting meeting scheduled for Sept. 14.
The finance ministry’s officials said on Thursday the ministry had tools for limiting effect from sharp market volatility and may consider stepping in at the domestic secondary OFZ treasury bond market if needed.
Brent crude oil LCOc1, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, was slightly up by 0.21 percent at $76.65 a barrel.
Russian stock indexes were up.
The dollar-denominated RTS index.IRTS was up 0.68 percent to 1,061.44 points. The ruble-based MOEX Russian index.IMOEX was 0.02 percent higher at 2,321.04 points.
Reporting by Katya Golubkova