On Friday, trading activity visibly slowed with the MICEX reporting USD 3.2bn in turnover. RUB started softly from the off and went on to end the day 0.9% weaker. The crude oil price declined to USD 54.3/bbl (-4.3%) – as expected, military conflict in Yemen is not likely to sustain high oil prices in the medium term. The EM FX index performed a tad better, slipping 0.5% against USD. Meantime, TRY and BRL again lagged behind, losing 0.6% and 2.1%, respectively.
Citing the improved juncture on the FX market, the CBR increased the rates on FX liquidity provision operations 50bp. Hence, as of today all FX repo tenor rates will be calculated as corresponding LIBOR+100bp, while all tenors of the FX 312-P facility will cost LIBOR+125bp. We do not expect this step to put any additional pressure on RUB, because, as we have argued before, domestic bid has significantly weakened, both from the corporate and retail side. This week, banks need to return just USD 2.2bn to the regulator, which is quite capable of being rolled over on any FX repo auctions.