The Russian ruble has been gradually strengthening against the US dollar and euro, making gains for the sixth day straight on Thursday. The ruble plunged to historic lows amid Western sanctions after the country launched its military operation in Ukraine.
At the opening of trading on the morning of March 17, the Russian currency rose by 2.77% against the greenback, to 105 rubles per dollar. It also gained 1.83% against the EU’s currency, trading at 115.5 rubles per euro.
The ruble collapsed earlier this month as unprecedented sanctions hit the Russian economy, dropping to record lows of 132 rubles per dollar and 147 rubles per euro on March 7. In mid-February, the currency’s exchange rate was around 75 rubles per dollar and 85 rubles per euro.
Analysts say that further strengthening of the ruble is being held back by the prospect of default on Russia’s foreign debt. According to Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, payment on two outstanding sovereign Eurobonds has been made, but there are risks that the payment will not reach the final recipients, as Russia’s foreign currency holdings are frozen by sanctions.