Yesterday, global risk sentiment remained weak, weighing on EM currencies. RUB started to drift lower from the opening, disregarding oil’s flirtation with USD 63.5/bbl in the first half of the day. In the evening, RUB’s slippage accelerated, spurred by a sharp fall in oil prices as well as the absence of a compromise in the Greek debt talks. Thus, RUB weakened 1.1% against USD, edging down to 54.46. In turn, Brent declined to USD 62.1/bbl, losing 0.5% during the day. Trading turnover on the MICEX increased to USD 4.4bn, but we found that export remained barely present in the market, despite the VAT and MET payments due today. Hence, it appears that companies had already accumulated enough rouble liquidity to meet tax outlays last week. Therefore, we think that the balance in the USDRUB is to remain skewed towards the bid side.
The EM FX space was trading 0.1% lower, yesterday. MXN and BRL lagged peers, falling 0.6-0.7%. Commodity-based currencies were under pressure too, with AUD and NOK sliding 0.4% against USD.