The ruble has strengthened, poised for its biggest monthly gain against the dollar and the euro since June, amid Russia’s takeover of former Ukrainian territories, heightening fears of new Western punitive measures against Russia. Fear of arrest of Western assets in dollars, euros and other unfriendly currencies, fears of a ban on trade in dollars for residents of the Russian Federation are the main driver of the strengthening of the ruble at the present time. People are trying to transfer assets into rubles, yuan, Hong Kong dollars and other safe and non-toxic currencies.
The ruble rose 7.3% against the dollar in Moscow trading to 53.3775. Ready to go up 12% this month.
“Sales of the currencies of “unfriendly” countries due to sanctions fears continue to reduce the USDRUB rate even after the end of the tax period,” Viktor Grigoriev, an analyst at Bank Saint Petersburg, explains in a note.
The ruble rose 6.3% against the euro to 52.1700, marking a 15% gain in September and the highest close since October 2014. The Russian currency shed 0.4% against the yuan, holding its monthly gain to 6.4%.
„Renaissance Capital” improved its forecasts for the ruble against the backdrop of „increased sanctions pressure, which should lead to a further drop in interest in foreign currency, as well as limit imports.” Although the likelihood that the population will continue to reduce foreign exchange assets is unlikely, “demand for the Russian currency from the corporate sector may increase given the increased sanctions risks and the level of foreign exchange liquidity accumulated since the beginning of the year,” analysts Sofya Donets and Andrey Melashchenko note in a note.
The ruble could trade in the $73-$77 range next year if Russia partially redirects oil exports after the EU embargo; 63–69 if all oil exports can be redirected to other countries. Russian government bond index: -0.6% to 125.90. The Russian stock market on Friday afternoon shows mixed dynamics of blue chips and indices against the backdrop of multipolar external signals and a sharp strengthening of the ruble, Gazprom shares increased volatility on the back of a number of news, while the papers were supported by the decision of shareholders to approve the payment of interim dividends for the first half of the year.
By 13:30 Moscow time, the Moscow Exchange index amounted to 1934.27 points (-1%), the RTS index – 1104.29 points (+3%); prices of the majority of „blue chips” on the „Moscow Exchange” have changed within 3.9%. The dollar fell to 55.23 rubles (-1.98 rubles), the minimum of transactions was 53.3 rubles/$1. Shares of Gazprom rose to 222.23 rubles (+2.3%), the maximum transactions amounted to 238.72 rubles (+9.9%) after the news that shareholders at an extraordinary meeting on Friday approved the payment of interim dividends in the amount of 51. 03 rubles per share. Earlier in the morning, the papers of „Gazprom” fell below 190 rubles on the statements of the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation, Sergei Naryshkin, about the likely involvement of the West in the terrorist attack on the „Nord Streams” of the concern, which increases the degree of geopolitical tension.