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RUB: oil down further


Yesterday, traders on the Russian FX market remained focused on two main topics: crude prices and geopolitics amid the start of the Minsk talks on Ukraine. Brent traded heavily yesterday, and had slipped 3.7% to USD 54.2/bbl by the end of the session. This weighed on all commodity-related currencies: NOK weakened 0.9% against USD, while NGN lost 2.2%; AUD and NZD were 0.5-0.7% down. Trading flows in USDRUB remained subdued, with total MICEX turnover just USD 3.2bn yesterday. In the morning, RUB opened under pressure on the back of the oil correction: at noon, USDRUB traded near 66.30 before moving up to 66.75 toward the evening. However, late in the session, RUB regained ground, apparently amid some optimism regarding the outcome of the Normandy Format group meeting in Minsk. RUB closed up 0.4% against USD, at 65.18, having comfortably outperformed its EM peers. The EM FX index declined 0.8%, with ZAR and BRL down 1.2%. Therefore, RUB’s performance gap to EM narrowed to 4.3% YTD, well below the 10% of a couple weeks ago.

Maxim Korovin, Tatiana Zueva
VTB Capital analysts

oil, ruble

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