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08/28/1998 10:56:51 Russia MICEX interbank forex trading improves-MICEX

MOSCOW, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Trading in the Russian rouble

against the dollar is easing back to health on the interbank

eletronic trading system at the Moscow Interbank Currency

Exchange (MICEX), a bourse official said on Friday.

The central bank cancelled three regular sessions of foreign

exchange trading at MICEX, including Friday's, after saying

previously it saw no point in major intervention to prop up the

rouble since it was the only seller of dollars on the market.

Foreign exchange trading organised by banks themselves has

not formally been halted but has been crippled by mutual

mistrust among banks and the lack of a transparent rouble-dollar

fix on the main market.

The MICEX official said tension had eased on Friday on the

MICEX's own interbank electronic foreign exchange trading system

called SELT, where the exchange has set up a system of

guarantees of deliveries.

"The foreign exchange market has livened up. Starting from

yesterday evening firm bid and offer quotes for U.S. dollars

appeared on the MICEX electronic trading system SELT," the

official told Reuters.

The MICEX official said the average rouble/dollar rate on

roubles for today delivery was 12.89 roubles to the dollar, with

the last deal at 10.30 roubles to the dollar, on reported

turnover of $72.6 million.

Roubles for tomorrow delivery were trading at an average

rate of 12.05 roubles to the dollar on volume of $2.1 million,

he said.

Traders at MICEX on Thursday bid 8.2 roubles to dollar

against offers of 9.5 roubles to the dollar before trading was

suspended.

The central bank had set its official Friday rate at 7.86

roubles to the dollar.

The MICEX official said the rouble with today delivery

opened at 15 roubles per dollar, but later rose to 12 roubles

per dollar.

((Julie Tolkacheva, Moscow Newsroom, +7095 941-8520

moscow.newsroom@reuters.com))

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