Yesterday, market volatility remained low, but USDRUB finally crossed the 57.00 line, at which it had been marking since the end of last week. Trading activity increased slightly, but remained moderate on an historical basis (MICEX turnover amounted to USD 3.6bn). RUB kicked off on a softer footing right from the morning, scratching 57.15. In the afternoon, the Russian currency found firmer ground for a while, but the oil market, pressurised by the news about a pick-up in API US crude stocks, left no chance of it consolidating there. In late trading, Brent dipped to USD 55.4/bbl (-1.3%), dragging RUB down to 57.44 (-0.8%) vs. USD. Commodity-based currencies lost 0.3-0.7% yesterday, while the EM FX index decreasing 0.7% against USD. BRL felt the heaviest pressure, plunging 1.6%, THB dipped 0.9%, followed by TRY, which lost 0.9%.
The key tax dates are approaching (27 and 28 July), but as far as we can judge by trading volumes, export selling activity has been quite moderate recently. Hence, RUB might gain additional support in the coming days, with the level of 57.00 likely to remain a centre of gravity for USDRUB.