Yesterday, RUB remained well bid. By the end of the day, it gained near 1.8% against USD, having closed at 56.6. At the same time, Brent declined 2.8% to USD 54.9/bbl, but given Wednesday’s bounce, crude remains on a stronger footing. The price action on the Russian exchange market was part of a general trend the EM FX space: the EM FX index firmed 0.5-0.8% yesterday; NOK surged 0.5%. However, we believe that to a certain extent, RUB’s remarkable outperformance was driven by the closing of long USDRUB positions, opened at 60-62 levels a couple of weeks ago by international investors, as the new quarter kicked off. Hence, if crude stays relatively stable, we believe that a further rebalancing of positions might support additional RUB appreciation. At the same time, more neutral positioning would help to improve the balance of the market, which was clearly skewed in favour of hard currency sellers recently.