The weighted average dollar rate with tomorrow settlements dropped RUR 0.1 against the official rate for today to RUR30.66 at the beginning of this morning's special session in Russia. This means that the dollar rate returned to the level registered at the end of January 2002, which was more than 16 months ago.
Currency experts linked today's new strengthening of the ruble rate to policies of the Central Bank that was actively preventing a rise in the dollar rate over the past two days. For example, the Central Bank bought no less than $350m at RUR30.76 yesterday.
According to analysts who spoke to an RBC correspondent, the Central Bank was making it clear to potential dollar buyers that there would be no further rise in the dollar rate in the near future. This has led to low activities of dollar buyers, and dollar offers are now surpassing demand for the US currency again, like at the beginning of this week.
Three days before the second stage of the presidential election in Ukraine, Russia has banned exports of oil, coal and petroleum products to Ukraine