Rouble hits one-month high ahead of cenbank rate meeting



MOSCOW, April 23 (Reuters) - The rouble hit a month-high against the dollar on Friday, extending gains ahead of the central bank's board meeting after Russia said it started withdrawing troops back to base from the area near the border with Ukraine.

At 0637 GMT, the rouble was 0.3% stronger against the dollar at 75.18, a level last seen on March 23 RUBUTSTN=MCX , heading away from 2021 low of 78.0450 touched in early-April.

Against the euro, the rouble added 0.2% to 90.43 EURRUBTN=MCX .

The rouble received a boost from reports that Russia ordered its troops to end military drills in the annexed peninsula of Crimea and moved troops from the border with Ukraine in an apparent end to a buildup of tens of thousands of soldiers that had alarmed the West.

"Geopolitical tension has significantly eased, bolstering the Russia-risk trade," BCS brokerage said.

But the geopolitical premium paid for the rouble remains significant. In early-2020, when oil prices, one of the main drivers of the rouble's exchange rate, were near current levels around $66 a barrel, the rouble stood at 61-62 to the dollar.

The Russian central bank is in focus as it is widely expected to raise interest rates in an attempt to rein in high inflation inflated by the rouble weakness.

The rate decision is due at 1030 GMT, followed by an online media conference with Governor Elvira Nabiullina at 1200 GMT.

For Russian equities guide see RU/EQUITY

For Russian treasury bonds see 0#RUTSY=MM


Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; editing by Uttaresh.V

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