On Friday, the Russian FX market opened strongly, with USDRUB nudging down to 50.20 amid solid export offer. However, the export flow dried up in the afternoon, and RUB began to surrender positions, as market participants were taking profits before the weekend. In the evening, RUB gained a stronger footing from the uptick in the oil prices, thus slipping just 0.1% to 50.87, finally. Brent climbed to USD 63.6/bbl (+1.6%), refreshing a new high of the year. Today VAT and MET are due, so RUB might enjoy the last chunks of export sale today, but we expect that support from this side is to begin to abate gradually, while the market would start to accumulate positions, anticipating a rate cut on the coming CBR’s monetary policy meeting on Thursday.
The EM FX universe traded mixed on Friday: SGD and ILS outperformed, firming 0.7%, BRL grew 0.6%, while THB and TRY weakened 0.4-0.5%. Commodity-based AUD and NOK advanced 0.6-0.7%, following crude prices, NZD closed flat.