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RUB: two-way swings help improve market liquidity


Yesterday the Russian FX market session was active, with a total turnover of USD 4.6bn registered by MICEX. In the morning, RUB opened under pressure following the oil market correction; however, crude later bounced, with Brent closing up 5.4% at USD 56.0/bbl. As commodity markets recovered, RUB regained ground: by the middle of the session, USDRUB had moved to 66.25 from 68.70 at noon. Later, headlines concerning the Ukraine situation shaped USDRUB price action, which moved in the range of 66.10 to 67.20. At the end of the day, RUB gained 2.0% against USD, to 66.60. As we have previously argued, current crude oil prices (if sustained) give RUB further room for appreciation, yet risk sentiment is also a matter of geopolitics. As far as the latter is concerned, German and French leaders are visiting Moscow today. RUB’s recovery was also supported by the stronger EM FX index, which yesterday moved up 0.6-0.9%; ZAR and TRY advanced 1.8% and 1.2%, respectively. Finally, USDRUB trading flows have picked up visibly since the end of January: the average daily trading volume has been USD 4.0-4.5bn lately, compared with just USD 3.0bn at the beginning of the year. We believe that liquidity is returning to the FX spot market, as RUB started trading actively in different directions, so the buy-the-dips strategy is losing popularity.

Maxim Korovin, Tatiana Zueva
VTB Capital analysts

ruble, FX market

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