Ruble’s weakening due to debt crisis in Europe

The Russian ruble’s recent dip is short lived and connected to speculative capital outflow and perception of the economic risks in Europe, Deputy Minister of Economic Development Andrei Klepach said late on Wednesday.

The ruble has been falling against the euro and the dollar since the end of August, having hit a 10-month low to the dollar on Monday. On Thursday it fell 43 kopecks to 31.9 rubles per dollar and 19 kopecks to 43.3 rubles per euro at the start of trade.

“This (speculative capital outflow) is a short-term factor. Its effect will be compensated,” Klepach told journalists, adding the ruble’s current fluctuations were due to SP’s downgrade of Italy’s debt rating on Tuesday and economic risks in the euro zone.

“From the balance of payments and trade balance point of view, all conditions for the ruble’s strengthening are there.”

Klepach said that but for speculative outflow the ruble would be traded at at least 27-28 per dollar. He also said that over $1 billion left Russia in August.

If oil prices remain at the current $100 per barrel, there would not be any downward pressure on the ruble, he said.

However, the ministry expects the ruble to fall within three years, including the weakening of the real exchange rate at the end of 2013 and 2014, if prices remain stable, Klepach said.

The ministry also expects a larger capital inflow than the central bank, he said, addingthat would support the ruble.

Russia will have a zero or deficit current account within two years, he predicted.

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