Yesterday, export sales continued to provide support to the Russian FX market, though trading activity moderated visibly, with the MICEX reporting only USD 3.5bn of turnover. RUB gained a firmer footing right in the morning, moving steadily in one direction for the whole session. In the evening, the bounce in Brent gave a fresh impulse to RUB, so it closed at 52.19 against USD, thus firming 2.9%. In turn, Brent recovered 2.1%, settling at USD 60.5/bbl. The peak of tax payments falls next Monday and Tuesday, when VAT, MET and corporate profit taxes are due, so until the end of this week RUB might continue to benefit on export selling activity.
Among commodity-based currencies, only AUD followed crude’s performance, firming 0.6%. NOK lagged, slipping 0.3% against USD. The EM FX universe traded flat in general, albeit ZAR and TRY fell under pressure, losing 0.8% and 1.0%, respectively.