Ruble rises for second day on Ukraine hopes

Russia’s currency has opened higher for the second day and strengthened to its best level since late January after a Ukranian rebel leader called a ceasefire in a sign of a possible diplomatic breakthrough with Moscow, FTAdviser sister publication FastFT reports.

The ruble has opened 0.6 per cent higher at 33.9 per US dollar, the first time it has strengthened beyond 34 to the dollar since January 22.

On Monday the currency, which had been severely dented by the crisis in Ukraine and Western sanctions imposed on Russia, gained 0.9 per cent.

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This came after Russian president Vladimir Putin offered qualified support for the peace plan put forward by his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko, following significant EU pressure on Moscow.

The Micex index of Russian stocks rose 0.8 per cent, or 11.5 points, to 1498 points.