On Friday, risk appetite in the Russian FX market took a step back and RUB retreated from its recent highs. Trading activity was decent with MICEX reporting USD 6.1bn in USDRUB turnover. RUB opened on a softer footing in the morning, consolidating near 50.80 by mid-day. The correction in oil prices added to the weaker sentiment. At the end of the day, RUB slipped 4.2% to 51.96. Brent ended the session at USD 61.21/bbl, losing 1.5% over the day. The key tax dates this month fall next week, but corporates are likely to start preparing for the tax payments already this week, which could support the FX market in the near term.
The EM FX universe also showed a lacklustre performance, with the EM FX index decreasing 0.2% against USD. MXN and ZAR lagged behind, slipping 1.1% and 0.9%, BRL nudged down 0.7%. Commodity-based currencies traded weaker as well: AUD lost 0.3% and NOK dropped 1.1%. On Friday, the CBR conducted two FX 312-P auctions, offering USD 1.0bn at each. The one-year auction was cancelled due to lack of demand, while at the 28-day auction the regulator placed only USD 451mn, at a rate of 1.93%.