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RUB: marching higher

On Friday, RUB gained 3.4% against USD to close at 59.62. The Russian FX market kicked off on a stronger footing right from the morning, yet Friday's trading flow was relatively small at only USD 4.1bn. We highlight that RUB's rebound coincided with a 3.5% surge in Brent crude oil, which closed at USD 61.25/bbl. In light of this, NGN picked up 2.7%, while NOK gained 0.3%. On average, EM FX closed just 0.1% stronger vs. USD. We continue to think that RUB's performance is driven mostly by local factors, although stable crude oil prices provide a good backdrop. In our view, retail demand for FX might remain intact for a while, but we think increased corporate FX selling, coupled with the looming tax payments, could underpin a further recovery in the Russian FX market. In addition, the CBR is conducting two FX repo auctions today, albeit their success is subject to the availability of collateral.
Maxim Korovin, Tatiana Zueva
VTB Capital analyst


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