Ruble retreats in limited trade, stocks close to monthly high

MOSCOW, Jan. 4 (Reuters) – The Russian ruble edged down in light trading on Tuesday, as the benchmark MOEX stock index hit a nearly a month high amid rising oil prices.

At 07:00 GMT, the ruble was 0.14% weaker against the dollar at 74.65 and held at 84.31 against the euro.

Oil prices rose on Tuesday as investors expected oil producers to add supply at a meeting on Tuesday, a sign that fuel demand remains robust despite the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant .

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The ruble has come under increased pressure since October, as Western countries expressed concerns over Russia’s military build-up near neighboring Ukraine.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday discussed military strengthening with the Bucharest Nine Group of NATO allies, the State Department said. Read more

Trade activity is expected to be weak this week and return to steady levels after January 10, the end of the New Years holiday in Russia.

The dollar-denominated RTS (.IRTS) index gained 0.5% to 1,629.8 points. The ruble-based Russian MOEX index (.IMOEX) climbed 0.3% to 3,863.6 points, its highest since December 7.

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Report by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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