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RUB: propelled by crude bounce


On Friday, RUB pared some of the losses from earlier in the week, and firmed to 52.3 vs. USD (+0.7%). Brent's bounce provided the necessary backdrop for the Russian currency as crude surged 4.2% to USD 63.9/bbl on the back of flat DXY, news of yet another decline in the number of drilling rigs and continued tensions in the Middle East. Trading activity remained high: the MICEX reported near USD 5.6bn USDRUB turnover in total. Meanwhile, commodity-linked currencies moved slower: in particular, NOK gained only 0.4%, while AUD and NZD actually saw some pressure. In addition, the EM FX index weakened near 0.1-0.3% – specifically, TRY closed 0.3% in the red, BRL and MXN moved down 0.4-0.5%. This morning, USDRUB opened well bid, having moved up to 52.75. We think the main factors shaping the performance of the Russian FX market in the near term will be: i) lower export-related hard currency selling as the tax period kicks off in just two weeks; ii) mounting external debt payments and dividends in June, and; iii) potentially higher demand for FX from households as the summer vacation period starts. Separately, we highlight that this morning the CBR cancelled the one-year FX repo auctions for the time being, although the last one was held on 8 May. We therefore do not expect to see a direct impact on the FX market, except perhaps sentiment-wise.

Maxim Korovin, Tatiana Zueva
VTB Capital analysts

ruble, FX market

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