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RUB: a step backward


Friday’s session was rather slow, with the MICEX reporting only USD 3.2bn of turnover. RUB kicked off on a softer footing, moving further into the red amid low liquidity and jittery oil dynamics. Brent’s recovery in the morning was interrupted by a sudden dip to USD 63.0/bbl, so finally it closed just 0.3% stronger, at USD 64.3/bbl. At the end of the day, RUB weakened 1.2% against USD, edging down at 50.91.

In contrast, the EM universe enjoyed good risk appetite: the EM FX index rose 0.5% against USD. Among the top performers we highlight BRL, advancing 1.7%, as well as MXN and ZAR, firming 1.3% and 1.0%, respectively. Commodity-based currencies were 0.3-0.5% stronger, though NOK skipped the general trend, slipping 0.4%.

On Friday, the CBR conducted two FX repo auctions, offering to the market USD 1.0bn for one year and USD 3.0bn for 28-day terms. The auctions garnered moderate demand, with USD 809mn placed in the long-term facility and USD 2.7bn in short-term repo. The average rates printed 3.24% and 2.18%, respectively. Hence, banks’ FX repo debt to the regulator is to rise to USD 34.6bn after settlement on Wednesday. Separately, the Treasury has announced a one-month FX deposit auction for today, with USD 1.0bn on offer. Given the minimal rate of 1.2%, the auction might be successful. 

Maxim Korovin, Tatiana Zueva
VTB Capital analysts

ruble, FX market

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