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Russian central bank moves to limit pricing manipulation in futures market

The Russian central bank said on Monday it had sent an order to the Moscow Exchange to halt trading in certain instruments in order to prevent possible manipulation of the equity futures market.

"In order to prevent possible pricing manipulation during the expiration of futures contracts on the RTS index....the Central Bank of Russia sent an order to MICEX (index) to suspend trading of financial instruments,'' the bank said in a statement.

Five thousand Russian ruble banknotes pass through a money counting machine at a store in Moscow.
Andrey Rudakov | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Five thousand Russian ruble banknotes pass through a money counting machine at a store in Moscow.

The dollar-based RTS and the ruble-traded MICEX are part of the Moscow Exchange.

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The central bank said the order was for the suspension of trading of a series of instruments for market participants whose actions have repeatedly influenced pricing when some futures contracts are expiring.

Ruble recovers

It comes after the Russian ruble had a rocky ride on Monday, which saw it fall to a record low of over 61 rubles per dollar, before recovering sharply.

The Russian central bank probably intervened to support the ruble on Monday, two traders said.

Read MoreCan Russia do anything to stop the ruble's slide?

The ruble strengthened sharply around 1310 GMT, moving from over 61.20 rubles per dollar to below 60 rubles per dollar in a matter of seconds.

By 1320 GMT, the Russian currency was trading at 60.45 against the dollar, down almost 4 percent from Friday's close.