(Corrects ‘Sino-Russian’ to ‘Sino-American’ in paragraph 4)
* Rouble weakest since early May
* Hits five-month low vs euro
* Rocked by geopolitical factors
* Belarusian rouble at record low vs euro
MOSCOW, Aug 25 (Reuters) - The Russian rouble slipped on Tuesday, bucking the generally positive mood on global markets due to political turmoil in neighbouring Belarus and pressure on Moscow to investigate the suspected poisoning of an opposition leader.
Having opened 0.2% stronger against the U.S. dollar, the rouble then faltered and by 1522 GMT was down 0.9% at 75.33, its weakest since May 4.
Versus the euro, it slipped more than 1.3% to 89.06, a five-month low.
Global markets perked up on Tuesday following signs of easing Sino-American trade tensions. The issue is closely watched by Russian currency traders, who tend to sell the rouble in favour of more secure assets when sentiment turns negative.
The rouble remained under pressure from mass strikes and demonstrations in Belarus that raise concerns that Moscow may offer a helping hand to its long-standing leader Alexander Lukashenko.
The Belarusian rouble hit 3.07 against the euro, a record low, driven by households’ demand for foreign cash, prompting the central bank to order an uninterrupted supply of cash FX to exchange offices.
Against the dollar, the currency stood at its lowest since March 24 of 2.61, losing nearly 2% on the day in an avalanche sell-off that started earlier this month.
A board member at the Belarusian central bank told Reuters it would not introduce capital controls to prevent the depreciation of the Belarusian rouble.
Risk aversion also increased after a Berlin hospital said it had found indications of poisoning in Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, who is in a medically-induced coma.
The Kremlin said however it saw no reason for now to investigate the circumstances around his illness, while the parliament launched a probe to see whether foreign forces were behind the alleged poisoning of Navalny.
Russian stocks also took a hit despite a 1.5% rise in Brent crude prices, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, crude .
Russia’s dollar-denominated RTS equity index slipped 1.1% to 1,267.9 points and the rouble-based MOEX Russian index was down 0.06% at 3,027.8 points.
For Russian equities guide see
For Russian treasury bonds see
Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; additional reporting by Andrey Ostroukh Editing by David Holmes/Mark Heinrich
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