Putin vows to cut gas supply tomorrow unless Europe pays in roubles

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Rouble extends recovery gains, stocks up on 5th trading day

Stocks inched higher on the fifth trading day after a month-long hiatus. At 1147 GMT, the rouble was 2% higher at 83.50 against the dollar and had touched 82.55 on the Moscow Exchange, a level last seen on Feb. 25, the day after Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine. The rouble is now driven by export-focused companies that are obliged to sell foreign currency as well as by month- and quarter-end tax payments that boost demand for roubles, while importers’ activity is low, said Natalia Orlova, chief economist at Alfa Bank.

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