The ruble began to decline before the meeting of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation

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Going back to the day before yesterday the President of the USA of Donald trump at the annual address to Congress, we can say that he convincingly painted a picture of steady growth of the US economy, and cited specific examples of successes in the country under his leadership. It seems to be yesterday’s news this time was favorable to the White house (although it is not clear why the scheduled publication of GDP, but not any of the secondary indicators, had already on 28 February – and suddenly, this date will be in the midst of a new shutdown?).
However, some macroeconomic indicators are cause for concern. Thus, a leading indicator of recession Federal reserve Bank of new York, which estimates the probability of a slowing economy in the next 12 months based on the yield curve 10-year and 3-month-old “treasuries” recently peaked in 2008 at 24%.
Though this little publication where we discuss, in fact it looks more important than the sensational reduction of foreign trade deficit of US $55,70 billion to $49,30 billion according for November (which, again, may not be a consequence of the merits of trump in negotiations with China, and just a one-time seasonal factors). According to Bloomberg, since 1960, this indicator has broken through this level 11 times, eight of them this ended in a recession.
Meanwhile, speaking about internal events, as you know, the Bank of Russia from January 15, 2019 resumed purchases of foreign currency for the Ministry of Finance on the open market, interrupted in August of 2018 due to the growth of exchange rate volatility. Yesterday the Finance Ministry reported that in the period from 6 February to 7 March 2019, the Ministry plans to reduce the volume of foreign currency purchases on the exchange to 194,0 billion RUB from 265,8 billion rubles in January. That is, what a surprise!
Meanwhile, the markets took a wait and see attitude before tomorrow’s meeting of the Central Bank’s key rate. On the background of lower overall risk (to the extent that, as is known, the rating Agency Standard&Poor’s traces of whatever the annual financial statements of Rosneft increased oil company investment rating) to the fore is the assessment of the health of domestic debt and money markets (for a long time we about them like that didn’t write!) As follows from materials of Bank of Russia, as of 1 January in the ownership of non-residents was 24.4% Federal loan bonds MinFin.
However, the proportion of foreigners in the structure of holders of Russian debt fell in December by 0.3 p. p. Perhaps it again! – is only the natural seasonal cyclic process. Against the background of improved market conditions, the Finance Ministry yesterday increased the total amount of the proposed OFZ to 35 billion rubles, putting on yesterday’s close, the two issues of OFZ-PD on 20 and 15 billion rubles, With a corresponding effective yield to maturity was at a very acceptable levels of 8.30% and 8,32%, respectively. Thus, for the first time in a long time, auctions were a discount to its weighted average over the last six months, spreads to the base rate of the Central Bank.
However, despite all this, the Russian ruble has touched the upper boundary of its trading channel at the level of 66 rubles to the dollar (as of 13:00 MSK). Weird, but investors are waiting for some reason from future statements of the Central Bank a significant easing of rhetoric – apparently, after the U.S. Federal reserve. In our view, any specific reason for this seems to be missing – as well as any other relevant factors weakening of the ruble.
After yesterday’s publication of statistics on stocks of oil and oil products from the US Department of energy, “black gold” Brent crude has moved in leaps and bounds at a fairly high level of $62,34 per barrel, although the above does not matter in view of reducing the risks of political upheaval in Venezuela after it became known that a member of the EU, Italy has supported the current President Maduro.
Vladimir Rojankovski,
“International Financial Center”