Russian ruble strengthens as Central Bank stops currency purchases

© Mihail Kutusov
The Russian ruble has come back to below 60 against the US dollar in early trading on the Moscow Exchange Wednesday. The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) said it stopped buying foreign currency, as the ruble hit 4-month lows.

The ruble revalued on the news, standing at 59.4 to the dollar and 65.7 to the euro at 13: MSK.

“On 28 July 2015, the Bank of Russia suspended operations to replenish international reserves due to increased volatility in the domestic FX market,” CBR said in a statement issued Wednesday.

READ MORE: Russian ruble hits 60 against US dollar, close to erasing 2015 gains

Last week the bank reduced foreign currency purchases to $160 million from $200 million a day as the ruble's decline intensified.

On Tuesday the Russian currency hit 60 against the dollar and 66.5 against the euro for the first time since March. The ruble followed the falling price of oil as Brent crude dropped to about $53 a barrel on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Oil slump leads to $200bn cut in new energy projects - study

The Central Bank has been buying up to $200 million a day since mid-May to rebuild reserves that shrank by 25 percent in a year to stand at $356 billion. It then said that can change the amount of foreign exchange purchased to reflect significant changes in the forex market.