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RUB: marking time

Yesterday’s session saw still subdued trading activity, with total turnover in USDRUB reported at USD 2.9bn. In the morning, RUB kicked off on a softer footing, as crude oil prices slipped. Later Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s tougher rhetoric weighed on the performance of the Russian exchange market as well. However, with the commodities markets rebounding (Brent closed 1.6% in the black at USD 46.2/bbl) RUB got a second wind. During the day, USDRUB traded as high as 65.90, yet closed at 65.3, i.e. just 0.1% weaker. Meanwhile, NOK moved up 1.1% against USD and EM FX index gained 0.1-0.2%. Today, the main event is the ECB policy announcement and press briefing. The market is discounting a EUR 600bn programme of sovereign debt purchases. If the ECB does not disappoint, we think the chances of crude oil continuing to bottom out could increase. In light of this, we think RUB might continue recovering, as we have argued before. Moreover, tax payments are set to provide some support to the FX spot market next week.
Maxim Korovin, Tatiana Zueva
VTB Capital analyst


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