MOSCOW: The rouble weakened on Wednesday, as the Russian currency lost support from a favorable tax period and remained under pressure from the risk of Western restrictions on Moscow's energy exports reducing its foreign currency earnings.
At 0710 GMT, the rouble was 0.3% weaker against the dollar at 75.20 and had lost 0.5% to trade at 79.82 versus the euro. It had shed 0.8% against the yuan to 10.86.
The rouble has now lost the support of month-end tax payments, when exporters typically convert their foreign currency revenue, increasing demand for roubles.
Russian oil companies should benefit from the gradually devaluing rouble, which hit seven-year highs last summer, as they pay taxes and duties based on dollar prices, but have operating costs largely set in roubles, BCS World of Investments said in a note.
Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia's main export, was up 0.7% at $84.1 a barrel, supporting Russian stock indexes.
The dollar-denominated RTS index was up 0.1% to 947.1 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 0.3% higher at 2,260.7 points, at a more than two-week high.
Russia's finance ministry will hold two OFZ treasury bond auctions later on Wednesday.
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