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Russia to Resume FX Reserve Purchases; Ukraine Counteroffensive Approaching

  • Russia is likely to resume buying foreign currency for its reserves as soon as this month as rising oil earnings stabilize public finances despite US and European efforts to squeeze Kremlin income, Bloomberg report. With energy revenues now close to exceeding their target level, purchases are possible already in May, with estimates initial volumes could amount to the equivalent of around $200 million in yuan per month.
  • Russian forces were reportedly moving into defensive positions, as Ukraine’s defense chief said the military was “reaching the finish line” for a major push to reclaim occupied land, the New York Times report. Ukraine’s defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov, said in an appearance on national television that the military was “reaching the finish line” in preparations to launch a counteroffensive and that commanders would decide “how, where and when.”
  • Russia’s Manufacturing PMI fell to 52.6 from 53.2 in March, signalling the 12th consecutive month of contraction. New Orders fell to 53 versus 54.5 prior.
  • President Vladimir Putin will hold an online meeting with members of the government to discuss the development of domestic tourism and other issues. Retail Sales (Est: -4.9% y/y), Unemployment Rate (Est: 3.6%) and Real Wage Data (Est: 0.9% y/y) is on the docket tomorrow afternoon.

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