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  • 9
    Ruble REER continued to weaken in June, declining 4.3% MoM

    The ruble real effective exchange rate weakened 4.3% MoM in June, intensifying from a drop of 1.7% MoM (CBR upgraded May data from -2.0% MoM), bringing the YTD change to a negative value of -0.4% (from +4.0% in January-May). The ruble fell against the dollar,...

  • 24
    RUB: against fundamentals

    Yesterday, RUB weakened 2.0% against USD (41.73) and almost 1.6% to the BASKET (46.69). Hence, the CBR has shifted BASKET’s operational band seven times, suggesting that the amount of FX interventions was near USD 2.4bn. Pressure on RUB mounted right from the morning, and throughout the day it was almost a one-way trend. Trading volumes were decent at USD 7.2bn. Meanwhile, the EM FX index closed 0.15–0.20% in the red against USD, though the EM performance was rather uneven: ZAR and TRY firmed 0...

  • 23
    RUB: can’t resist oil

    Yesterday’s session kicked off on a fairly positive note, with RUB trading marginally stronger in the first half of the day in line with EM FX peers. However, the market sentiment darkened in the second part of the day, around the beginning of the US trading session: in a matter of hours, Brent declined from USD 86.80–87.00/bbl to USD 84.60–84.80/bbl. Subsequently, the pressure on RUB mounted significantly, so in the end the Russian currency lost 1.0% to USD (41.32) and 0.8% vs. BASKET (46.30). To...

  • 22
    RUB: flailing around

    Yesterday, RUB traded in line with EM FX, with the performance mostly directionless for the majority of the day. Later, in the evening, EM FX moved briefly into the black with ZAR, MXN and TRY trading up 0.2-0.3%. However, in the end, EM FX retreated to close 0.2% weaker vs. USD. Meanwhile, Brent bounced up 1.0% to USD 85.2/bbl, which provided some support to the Russian exchange market. Therefore, at the end of the day RUB ended a tad stronger (+0.1%) against USD (40.94) and firmed 0.4% vs. BASKET...

  • 21
    RUB: feeling heavy

    Yesterday, RUB erased Friday’s gains, with BASKET closing at 46.11 and USDRUB surging to 40.96. Briefly, USDRUB traded near 41.40, meaning that by the close, RUB had weakened near 0.8% vs. USD, but the upper end of the BASKET’s range had remained untouched. Exporters increased hard currency selling yesterday, but the bid was strong. Meanwhile, the rest of EM FX continued on a firmer footing in general. Specifically, ZAR strengthened near 0.6% against USD, as did Asian currencies in general, while...

  • 20
    RUB: a moderate bounce

    On Friday, RUB traded on a stronger footing as did EM FX peers. Specifically, RUB gained near 0.5% against USD having closed at 40.65. The crude oil rebound might have helped RUB trading, but we think that at the moment RUB is trading more on tactical factors rather than fundamental ones. Its marked underperformance in September-October has left the market with no more bullets to play against RUB, as the lion's share of participants are positioned in the same direction (against RUB). Hence, several...

  • 17
    RUB: crude oil drags FX down

    Crude oil remained under pressure yesterday, which fuelled some more weakening among commodity-based currencies. Hence, NOK lost 0.6% against US, while AUD and NZD closed 0.5% and 0.3% lower, respectively. RUB ended 0.6% down vs. USD (40.95) yesterday and lost 0.7% to the BASKET (46.10). Trading activity in RUB was decent, with MICEX recording total turnover of USD 7.3bn. During the day, USDRUB traded as high as 41.10, while RUB also initially reacted positively to the news about the CBR’s upcoming...

  • 16
    RUB: breaking the trend?

    Yesterday’s trading session surprised in two ways. Firstly, RUB firmed 1.1% against USD closed at 40.41. This happened contrary to the generally softer EM FX index that weakened 0.2-0.4% vs. USD. However, the EM performance was uneven as ZAR traded down 0.2%, while MXN and BRL slipped 0.6% and 2.3%, respectively. On the other hand, TRY firmed 0.2%, whilst Asian currencies also closed on a stronger footing. However, to a certain extent, RUB’s rebound was supported by the advance of NOK (+0.6%), AUD...

  • 15
    RUB: yet another one percent

    Yesterday, RUB weakened 0.9% against both USD (40.87) and the BASKET (45.77). Hence, for the second day in a row RUB suffered a one percent decline. Meanwhile, the EM FX index weakened just 0.1%. Clearly, Brent crude’s slip below the USD 88/bbl level ignited the pressure in RUB, as well as in other commodity-based currencies. In particular, NOK lost 1.5% against US yesterday, while NZD and AUD weakened 0.5%. Overall, RUB’s underperformance vs. the EM FX index has widened to 17.5% YTD. The CBR has...

  • 14
    RUB: weaker amid low trading activity

    Yesterday, trading volumes in USDRUB equalled only USD 2.9bn, markedly below daily average figures, as many market participants were off for Columbus Day in the US. Meanwhile, RUB lost 0.3% against USD (40.50) and 0.5% vs. BASKET (45.36). Therefore, the CBR has shifted the operational band for the BASKET up 10 kopeks. RUB traded on a softer footing from the morning, while other EM currencies gained ground in the middle of the day. Hence, the EM FX index bounced from Friday’s dip and closed 0.5-0...

  • 13
    RUB: down like the rest

    On Friday, RUB continued weakening in line with the general EM FX trend. Hence, it lost 0.6% against USD (40.37), while EM FX index slipped 0.7% vs. USD. Specifically, we highlight that TRY was down 0.8%, BRL slipped 1.3% and ZAR with MXN declined 0.4–0.5%. In addiion, NOK surrendered 0.6% against USD, while NZD and AUD gave up 0.7% and 1.1%, respectively. Meanwhile, BASKET traded as high as 45.26 on Friday, though it closed at 45.17 (+20 kopeks). Therefore, the CBR has shifted up the BASKET’s range...

  • 13
    Macro week ahead – eyes on RUB and CBR comments

    This week, Rosstat releases its full package of economic statistics for the first month of autumn, including industrial production, retail sales, investments, unemployment and wages growth, as well as the regular weekly inflation print. Otherwise, GUS is to present September CPI reports It is the behaviour of the rouble, rather than the publication of statistical data, that is likely to remain in focus this week. In this regards, there are two critical questions: when will the CBR draw the line...

  • 10
    RUB: pressure persists

    Yesterday, RUB kicked off on a stronger footing with the lowest USDRUB print at 39.80 seen around noon. However, later RUB failed to secure the gains: optically it closed flat against USDRUB (40.11) and the BASKET (44.98). We use ‘optically’, because on Wednesday BASKET picked up to the 45.00 mark after 6pm, i.e. when the CBR was off the market. In contrast, yesterday BASKET moved up to the 44.95 level during main trading hours, so the regulator continued its FX interventions. Meanwhile, we highlight...

  • 9
    RUB: down the way

    There were no surprises from RUB yesterday. Once again, it posted one of the worst daily trading results among all EM FX peers and weakened yet another 0.5% against USD (40.15) and 0.6% vs. BASKET (45.00). However, during the main Moscow exchange trading session BASKET traded as high as 44.83. Hence, the CBR sold small residuals at 44.65 and full clips at 44.70, 44.75 and 44.80. We therefore estimate the total volume of FX interventions on Wednesday at at least USD 1.0bn. Meanwhile, the EM FX index...

  • 8
    Internal rebalancing strengthens, supporting RUB

    The federal customs service has published its first estimate for September non-CIS imports. The headline figure came in at USD 20.6bn, with the YoY drop of 10.7% (after the -11.4% YoY in August) meaning that it was below the waterline for the fourth month in a row. In separate news, Rosstat reported that Russian consumer confidence deteriorated to -7% in 3Q14, from -6% in 2Q14. On the sub-index level, the index of the expected economic changes in the short term decreased to -7% during the last quarter...

  • 8
    RUB: behind the curve

    Yesterday, RUB lost 0.3% vs. USD (39.95) and near 0.5% vs. BASKET (44.71). On Friday, the CBR sold near USD 980mn and switched the upper end of the BASKET’s operational band to 44.50. Given that the range for the BASKET was moved to 44.60 on Monday, the regulator sold at least USD 420mn. Therefore, judging by the BASKET’s closing level, the CBR might have sold another USD 700mn yesterday. Hence, in total, FX interventions for the last three sessions amounted to USD 2.1bn. On the one hand, pressure...

  • 7
    RUB: small bounce

    Yesterday, RUB firmed 0.3% against USD (39.83) in a rather choppy trading session. In the morning, pressure on RUB mounted and so the CBR had to intervene again, and we think the regulator moved the top end of BASKET’s range to 44.60 (+10 kopeks). Thus, the amount of FX interventions was likely near USD 700mn. At the end of the day, BASKET closed at 44.50. Meanwhile, we highlight that the EM FX index appreciated 0.7-0.9% against USD. In particular, ZAR and TRY gained near 1.2%, while BRL continued...

  • 6
    RUB: hit as hard the rest

    On Friday, RUB ended about 0.8% weaker against USD at 39.94. Thus, USDRUB is just a tad below the psychologically important level of 40.0, which might ignite FX concerns among households. However, this view is just general thinking without any pros or cons to either back-up the theory or negate it. Previously, 36.0 for USDRUB was also widely seen as an 'important' resistance threshold, above which households would start a wide conversion of rouble deposits. Meanwhile, BASKET closed at 44.45 on Friday...

  • 3
    RUB: scary oil

    Yesterday, liquidity in the Russian exchange market remained low – total daily turnover was just USD 3.01bn. Meanwhile, RUB firmed slightly against USD (39.65, +0.12%) and closed almost flat vs. BASKET (44.34). During the day, USDRUB traded in a fairly tight range of 39.50-39.65. Interestingly, RUB paid little attention to the continuing slide in crude oil; in particular, Brent lost near 1.5% and closed at USD 92.1/bbl yesterday. In light of this, NOK surrendered near 0.2% to USD. However, RUB enjoyed...

  • 1
    RUB: unnecessary swings

    Yesterday, RUB lost 0.2% to USD and closed a tad stronger vs. BASKET (44.21) thanks to the weak euro. However, the session itself was not an easy walk. In the morning, RUB opened unchanged and firmed a bit towards the middle of the day, with BASKET fluctuating near 44.10. Later, Bloomberg (citing two unnamed sources in the CBR) reported that the regulator was weighing capital controls to fight the outflows. In a second, BASKET spiked 30 kopeks up and hit the CBR’s offer at 44.40. Hence, for the first...

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