Financial Times: Is the dollar about to fall off a cliff?

Section:

From Pravda Online, Moscow
Friday, October 22, 2004
http://newsfromrussia.com/main/2004/10/22/56751.html

The weighted average dollar exchange rate was
29 RUR/USD in the first 90 minutes of trade at a
special session today. Thus, the official dollar rate
for October 23-25 will decrease by RUR0.12. This
is the most considerable one-day drop of the dollar
against the ruble since late April. The low on the
deals was even 28.95 RUR/USD at the UTS.

According to commercial bank dealers, the Central
Bank has not supported the dollar despite a large
selling of dollars by market participants.

Banks sold over $436 million at a special session at
11:30 a.m. Moscow time. Yesterday, the trade
volume was just $19 million at the UTS at the same
time. The average lot of dollars to be sold was $1.7
million in the first 90 minutes of trading.

A Bank of Moscow expert told RBC-TV that the trade
volume on MICEX including a special session for
today reached almost $1 billion in the first 30 minutes
of trading. The expert said that the Central Bank's
activities could be attributed to the dollar's decrease
on international exchanges and growth in the gold
and currency reserves in Russia. However, the
Central Bank's leaving the market at the end of the
week was quite unexpected. The specialist thinks
that the Central Bank is currently concerned about
its obligations for preventing inflation.

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