The weighted average dollar exchange rate on tomorrow deals amounted to 28.51 RUR/USD at the beginning of a special session this morning, which was RUR0.02 higher than the official dollar rate set by the Russia Central Bank for February 24. Experts say that one of the reasons of this advance was a demand for dollars from commercial banks after the long weekend.
A statement of Central Bank deputy head Oleg Vyugin that the dollar had in fact stopped decreasing against the national currency might have triggered the increased interest of market participant in buying US currency. Vyugin pointed to the recent massive selling of dollars by commercial banks and worsened currency liquidity of banks; he made a supposition that market participants would soon start buying dollars.
It seems that the forecasted situation has unfolded at a special session this morning. The Central Bank does not seem to be making a real ruble intervention aimed at increasing the dollar rate currently. However, the activity of buyers of US currency has been at a low level. Banks purchased less than $9m in the first 40 minutes of the special session.