The pace of the dollar's falling at the special session on tomorrow deals slackened this afternoon. As such, the weighted average dollar exchange rate remained at 29.01 RUR/USD; the low on the deals did not go below 28.97 RUR/USD. Commercial bank experts explain a stop in the dollar's weakening against the ruble as coming from actions made by the Central Bank, which was taking all measures to prevent the ruble from strengthening in the afternoon.
The Central Bank started buying dollars at the UTS, thus supporting the American currency, at approximately 1 p.m. Moscow time, Rodion Suleimanov, an analyst with Uniastrum Bank told RBC. The intervention of the Central Bank was carried out at the rate of 29.00 RUR/USD, or 0.04 rubles lower than the official exchange rate set for May 18, the expert specified. According to Suleimanov, as of 3:15 p.m. Moscow time, or 1.5 hours before the closing of the special session, the Central Bank bought $60m. This was about one third of the total trade volume achieved by that time in this market sector.
An explosion of household gas occurred in a nine-storeyed apartment building in the city of Shakhty, the Rostov region of Russia. The blast destroyed two storeys of the building