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RUB: in a correction mode

On Friday, RUB reversed some of its earlier losses. In the middle of the day, USDRUB traded as low as 35.0, but failed to break lower and closed at 35.13 as geopolitical risks remained on the agenda. Therefore, RUB gained just near 0.10% against the US dollar and also closed marginally stronger vs. BASKET (40.70, +0.12%). Meanwhile, the rest of EM FX universe performed decently – in particular, ZAR and TRY appreciated 1.10% and 0.80%, respectively. In addition, BRL firmed about 1.45% vs. USD. Overall, we estimate on average that the EM FX index picked up near 0.70-0.80%, and so RUB continued to lag behind the other currencies – we estimate that the performance gap has reached 8.50-9.00% YTD, up from about 5.0% at the end of June. We still think RUB will continue to consolidate in the 34.80-35.20 range in the near-term; however, over the weekend rhetoric concerning the Ukrainian crisis hardened globally, and so, given that liquidity in the exchange market is pretty thin, which is usual for the summer, USDRUB could make an attempt at 35.50.
Maxim Korovin, Anton Nikitin
VTB Capital analyst


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