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RUB: major laggard among the EM currencies

On Monday, the FX market was moderately active as the US markets were closed and MICEX turnover was around USD 4bn with (T+1)-settlement. RUB weakened to 41.10 vs. BASKET and to 35.25 vs. USD, albeit the overall appetite for EM currencies remained fairly strong. As such, RUB is underperforming its peers by 5-6% since the beginning of the year, which looks like the weakest dynamics in the last three years. In our view, this fully prices in all the risks associated with RUB, i.e. lower FX interventions by the CBR, no rate hikes from the CBR (i.e. an easy monetary response to the currency depreciation, unlike other EM countries) and expected FX purchases by the Ministry of Finance. Therefore, we do not believe that there is much downside in RUB relative to other markets and the reversal will be rather sharp.
Maxim Korovin, Anton Nikitin
VTB Capital analyst

ruble, FX market

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