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RUB: in line with peers and crude


On Friday, RUB gained 1.3% against USD to close at 59.29. In the morning, USDRUB opened near 60.0 amid the lacklustre performance from crude oil. However, risk sentiment strengthened during the session as export continued selling hard currency, while Brent bounced up 1.4% to USD 53.20/bbl at the end of the day. Meanwhile, the EM FX index gained 1.0-1.4% vs. USD, with ZAR up 2.4% and TRY advancing 1.2%, whilst MXN and BRL closed at 1.5% and 1.9%, respectively, against USD. In addition, commodity-backed currencies ended solidly in the black: in particular, NOK finished 0.9% stronger against USD, whilst AUD and NZD gained 1.6-2.0%. Overall, the markets were dominated by the FOMC meeting last week; the statement amended forward guidance, dropping the word ‘patient’, but the FOMC also lowered its US GDP and inflation projections, which resulted in a lowering of its projections for the fed funds rate. On a net basis, the markets saw this as dovish and the major equity markets reached record highs. The best performing equity market last week was the Shanghai Composite, up 7.25%; the S&P500 was up 2.7%, which provided certain support to the EM FX markets. Meanwhile, as we have highlighted before, RUB benefited from the export FX selling ahead of taxes: specifically, the heaviest tax payments (VAT, MET) kick off this week.

Maxim Korovin, Vladimir Kolychev
VTB Capital analysts


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