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Ruble Reaches Two-Week High Ahead of Public Holiday

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Growing appetite for risk and higher oil prices boosted the ruble on Tuesday, leading the Russian currency to a two-week high against the U.S. dollar, Reuters reports.

After briefly touching 64.47, a level last seen on May 28, the ruble gained 0.4% to 64.53 versus the dollar.

Against the euro, the rouble gained 0.4% to trade at 73.01 , its strongest since June 3.

Wednesday is a public holiday in Russia, so Tuesday’s trading is likely to remain light, the news agency writes.

Russian assets were supported by oil prices, which rose along with global financial markets and bolstered by expectations that OPEC and its allies will extend a supply reduction agreement. Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, was up 0.3% at $62.46 a barrel.

Russian stock indexes inched lower after rallying the day before.

The dollar-denominated RTS index was down 0.2% to 1,332.4 points after hitting a five-year high of 1,337.63 on Monday. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 0.5% lower at 2,728.9 points.

The Russian stock market “is geared to advance further today, bolstered by improved sentiment towards emerging market assets and a rebound in oil prices this morning,” analysts from Alfa Bank said.

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Greek Church recognizes autonomy of Orthodox Church of Ukraine

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The leading figures of the Church of Greece decided at a meeting this weekend to recognize the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), making it the first of the Eastern Orthodox churches to take such a step.

The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece recognized the autonomy of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in line with a request by the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios

The Orthodox Times says the Greeks’ formal recognition will take place October 19 in Thessaloniki, with Archbishop Ieronymos and the OCU’s Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine present.

The Patriarchate of Constantinople, generally considered the spiritual headquarters for Orthodoxy, granted the Orthodox Church of Ukraine independence in January in a move that was adamantly resisted by Moscow and the Russian Orthodox Church. The new Orthodox Church of Ukraine installed its first metropolitan, Epifaniy, at a ceremony in Kyiv on February 3 in a process that further established the new church body’s independence

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Indonesia’s security minister attacked by man with knife

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Indonesia’s Chief Security Minister Wiranto is conscious and in a stable condition after he was stabbed on Thursday by a man authorities suspect had been radicalized by Islamic State ideology, police said.

Television footage showed the minister slump to the ground beside his car after the attack in Pandeglang, in Banten province, west of the capital on the island of Java.

“His condition is stable and at the moment he is being evacuated to a hospital in Jakarta,” Tomsi Tohir, Banten police chief told Metro TV. A police photograph showed the minister, a former general, being carried on a stretcher into a nearby hospital. The minister had suffered two wounds to his stomach, hospital chief said.  

Police had arrested a man and a woman they suspected were a couple, and seized sharp weapons they were carrying, including knives and a pair of scissors, police chief said.

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Taiwan: China is threating international stability

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Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has accused China of threatening international stability and pledged for boosting her country’s defence in the face of what Taipei sees as a growing threat from Beijing.

In a televised address to the nation Wednesday, the president stressed the international importance of Taiwan’s democratic values and raised concerns about Chinese infiltration. The remarks are seen as a sign of Taipei’s hardening resistance to Beijing’s opposition to her government.

“The people of Taiwan will never accept any attempt by external forces to unilaterally change the cross-Strait status quo. I am calling on the authorities in Beijing, as a responsible major power, to play a positive role in the region and the world, instead of being a source of conflict,” Tsai said.

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