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RUB continues struggling behind EM peers

On Friday, RUB weakened near 0.1% against BASKET (41.00) and closed barely changed vs. USD (35.17). In the morning, RUB traded on a softer footing, together with the rest of the EM FX spectrum, but pared earlier losses towards the end of the session (again, positive price action was ignited by the EM FX recovery). Meanwhile, on average EM FX firmed 0.3-0.5% against USD on Friday, so the gap between RUB and EM peers continued to widen. Thus, RUB is trading about 6.5% weaker against USD YTD, while on average EM FX is only about 1.0% lower, with THB and IDR actually having strengthened against USD. As far as Friday's price action is concerned, we highlight that ZAR firmed 1.0% against USD, while only TRY performed in line with RUB. Overall, risk sentiment continued to recover last week, likely supported by Janet Yellen's dovish monetary policy testimony, with the S&P 500 closing 2.07% in the black for the week. Today, we expect fairly light trading, given that the US markets are closed for President's Day.
Maxim Korovin, Anton Nikitin
VTB Capital analyst


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