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USD/RUB Pulls Back from 78.00 on Tentative Signs of Donbass Ceasefire, US Sanctions Loom

  • USD/RUB opens lower on the back of further $ selling post-FOMC minutes which saw the Fed maintain its accommodative stance.
  • Oil markets providing little support to RUB, trading 0.5% in the red after US petrol stocks jumped 4m barrels, raising demand-side concerns.
  • Analysts warned if refiners do not pull back their run rate, gas stockpiles risks challenging the record. RUB saw some respite yesterday as reports of a ceasefire agreement surfaced in the Donbass.
  • Markets will be gauging the veracity of this in the current sessions and monitoring developments closely as Russian troops amass on the border touting offensive weaponry.
  • Ukraine's calls for urgent NATO accession have angered Russia, but scepticism over Ukraine's ability to join NATO given ongoing internal conflicts (goes against pre-conditions for accession) remain a question mark.
  • Sell-side remains cautious regarding RUB, despite its higher valuation ~77-78 vs the $ with geopolitical uncertainty keeping flows on the backfoot.
  • Impending US sanctions announcement RE solarwinds & election meddling remains a key tail risk, but the CBR has said it has a number of contingency measures in place to cushion the blow beyond an initial knee-jerk sell-off
  • (FX reserves, relatively low $ debt exposure, OFZ purchases & already undervalued RUB).
  • Intraday Sup1: 76.6579, Sup2: 76.4367, Res1: 77.2794, Res2: 78.0406
MNI London Bureau | +44 020-3983-7894 |
MNI London Bureau | +44 020-3983-7894 |

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