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    MOSCOW SUBWAY BLAST SENDS DOLLAR RATE UP

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    MOSCOW, February 6, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - The US dollar-to-the-ruble rate went up 8.38 kopecks, the rise that came as the market's emotional reaction to the Moscow metro blast this morning.

    Bidders are taking a wait-and-see position. However, the terrorist act boosted demand for US dollars.

    "The terrorist act added fuel to the fire," Pyotr Neimyshev, an MDM bank dealer, told RIA Novosti.

    Yet, banks have not rushed to buy dollars, waiting for the results of a meeting of the finance ministers and chiefs of the central banks of the G8 countries and a conference of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), due on February 10. These meetings may change the situation on the world financial market. The dollar is unlikely to grow against the ruble due to high oil prices, and the dollar remains strong on the Forex currency market. Experts do not expect dollar rate to go down lower than 28 rubles per dollar in February.

    The Russian Central Bank's position and its support /for the ruble/ continues to determine dollar rate in Russia, said Mr Neimyshev. He said the market had calmed down after a strong reaction to the blast. The purchasing/selling quotations are higher than the Central Bank-supported rate (28.485 rubles per dollar).

    Today's dollar rate makes up 28.60-28.61 rubles, tomorrow's - 28.54-28-55.

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