Yesterday, the Russian exchange market remained under pressure. USDRUB opened higher right from the morning and moved up to 51.94 by the end of the day, so RUB weakened 2.1% against USD. During the day, there were a couple of attempts to break the 52.0 level, but so far it has remained a strong resistance. The further decline in crude (Brent closed 2.2% in the red at USD 61.1/bbl) supported bids for USDRUB. Meanwhile, trading activity was rather high: the MICEX reported USD 5.6bn in turnover and the average daily volumes so far this year are USD 3.0-3.5bn.
RUB underperformed peers yesterday. In particular, the EM FX index firmed gradually (0.1-0.2%) against USD, while commodity-based currencies were mostly flat. Risk sentiment recovered thanks to reports that a deal could be concluded between Greece and its official creditors by the weekend.
Nevertheless, we think that unless Brent bounces back up to USD 65-70/bbl, RUB might continue underperforming EM peers, given the subsiding export-selling flow as the tax period approaches its end. In addition, capital outflows in the coming month could pick up on the back of external deleveraging and dividend payments.