At this morning's US dollar session, the weighted average exchange rate sagged RUR0.01 to 31.85 RUR/USD. Commercial bank specialists link the ruble strengthening to a considerable dollar supply, which was mainly export revenues in foreign currency. Experts pointed to the fact that since the previous UTS on December 11, 2002, a sufficient deferred US dollar supply had been accumulated over the long weekend. At the same time, RBC's interviewees pointed out that in advance of payments to the budget at the end of the year, banks' demand for US dollars has tumbled. This is testified to by today's US dollar sales exceeding dollar purchases.
As commercial bank dealers pointed out, the Russian Central Bank refrained from buying US dollars at RUR31.855 at today's special session, thus allowing a RUR0.01 drop in the weighted average exchange rate during the trade.