Russian rouble strengthens to seven-week high against dollar
May 11 (Reuters) - The Russian rouble advanced to a seven-week high against the U.S. dollar in early trading on Thursday amid what analysts said was higher demand for the Russian currency from exporters selling their foreign earnings.
The currency was up 0.7% to 75.54 against the greenback RUBUTSTN=MCX at 0730 GMT - its highest level since March 23.
Thursday's gains follow a 2.5% advance for the currency during Wednesday's session and mean the rouble has fully recovered losses chalked up during April, when it came under heavy selling pressure.
The rouble was also up 1.1% against the euro to 82.64 EURRUBTN=MCX and was 0.9% stronger versus the Chinese yuan at 10.87 CNYRUBTOM=MCX.
Analysts said sales of foreign currency by Russian exporters was boosting demand for the rouble.
"Exporters have increased the supply of (foreign) currency. This is indicated by an increase in trading volumes, especially for the yuan-rouble pair," analysts at Sberbank CIB said.
"At the same time, there does seem to be increased demand for foreign currency from foreign companies leaving Russia," they added.
However, some analysts are still cautious over the currency's medium-term trajectory amid Western pressure on Russia's crucial energy exports. The finance ministry said on Wednesday that Russia posted a $44 billion budget deficit in the first four months of the year with energy revenues down 52% compared to the same period of 2022.
Russian stocks advanced strongly.
The dollar-denominated RTS index .IRTS was up 2.3% to 1,077.1 points and the rouble-based MOEX Russian index .IMOEX was 1.6% higher at 2,588.1 points.
For Russian equities guide see RU/EQUITY
For Russian treasury bonds see 0#RUTSY=MM
(Reporting by Jake Cordell
Editing by Christina Fincher)