UPDATE 1-Russian rouble hits more than one-month low as geopolitical risks bite

25 Jan 2021 / 17:50 H.

    (Updates prices, adds Alor Broker comment)

    By Alexander Marrow

    MOSCOW, Jan 25 (Reuters) - The Russian rouble gave up early gains to hit a more than one-month low on Monday in volatile trade, hampered by geopolitical risks related to the arrest of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and subsequent protests calling for his release.

    Police detained more than 3,000 people and used force to break up rallies across Russia on Saturday as tens of thousands of protesters ignored police warnings and extreme cold weather, leading the European Union to consider fresh sanctions against Moscow.

    "Any destabilisation of the political situation in the country is always a strong negative both for equities and for the rouble," said Alor Broker analyst Alexei Antonov.

    By 0927 GMT the rouble was flat against the dollar at 75.29 , having touched its weakest since Dec. 23 at 75.4800.

    It had gained 0.1% to trade at 91.51 versus the euro after hitting its lowest since Jan. 5 at 91.8000.

    The Kremlin on Sunday indicated a willingness to talk with new U.S. President Joe Biden and his administration but, with relations between the two countries languishing at Cold War lows, it also accused Washington of meddling in Saturday's protests.

    "Biden's policy towards Russia remains unclear and, given recent news flow, investors may be leery of Russian assets going into this week," BCS Global Markets said.

    Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia's main export, was up 0.7% at $55.82 a barrel.

    Russian stock indexes were rebounding.

    The dollar-denominated RTS index was up 0.6% to 1,426.1 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 0.7% up at 3,408.2 points.

    For Russian equities guide see

    For Russian treasury bonds see (Additional reporting by Elena Fabrichnaya Editing by Toby Chopra and David Goodman )

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