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RUB: marginally lower


On Friday, trading activity in the Russian exchange market was relatively slow with USDRUB total turnover of just USD 3.7bn. At the end of the day, RUB weakened near 0.4% against USD to close at 66.86. However, RUB firmed 1.3% vs. EUR (75.64) as EURUSD dipped to 1.1316 amid a strong US jobs report, which also pushed US Treasury yields higher (1.93%, up 12bp on the week). The markets focused on a possible rate hike in June, especially as average earnings growth ticked up to 2.2%. Gold fell by over USD 50 on the week. The S&P500 index took the US jobs data in its stride and finished 3.0% up on the week. US nonfarm payroll employment increased by 257k in January compared to the consensus expectation of an increase of 237k. Net revisions to the past two months’ employment data amounted to a positive 147k, and effects from energy sector layoffs were offset by job gains in other sectors (retail, healthcare). The unemployment rate edged up to 5.7% from 5.6%. Meanwhile, the EM FX index declined 0.9-1.3% with ZAR down 2.0%, while TRY lost 1.5%. In addition, NOK weakened near 1.5%, while NGN slipped 0.8% even though crude oil was 2.6% in the black on Friday (Brent closed at USD 57.5/bbl).

Maxim Korovin, Tatiana Zueva
VTB Capital analysts


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