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RUB: sinking with oil prices

Yesterday, RUB refreshed historical lows, weakening to 38.30 vs. USD and 43.50 vs. BASKET (i.e. 1.5% lower on the day) on the back of the fall in crude oil prices. Crude traded at around USD 97.2/bbl by the middle of the day, so many oil-linked currencies experienced the sell-off; IDR and NOK also weakened 0.6-0.9%. Of course, the current account balance is to be cut significantly if oil prices hold at these levels for long time; however, the C/A balance is to remain in surplus in the year-end and imports adjustment would be more significant as well (via exchange rate moves). As such, unless the oil prices fall further, we do not think there is much room for RUB to depreciate from these levels and the recent fall in oil prices is already priced in. Moreover, the FX turnover in MICEX was moderate, with only USD 4.5bn traded through the exchange, so, this highlights that the speculative activity was quite limited.
Maxim Korovin, Anton Nikitin
VTB Capital analyst

rouble, USD, oil, MICEX

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