Truce saves ruble


This year for the first time the euro exchange rate has fallen below 70 rubles. The main reasons for the currency depreciation are the oil price of above $ 60, as well as ceasefire in Ukraine. However, the experts warn that the approach of the foreign exchange disbursement period, as well as the possibility of new sanctions of the EU may stop the ruble appreciation.

The euro-ruble rate has fallen below 70 rubles for the first time in 2015. Last time the European currency traded less that 70 rubles was on December 30, 2014. As at 19.18 MSK the euro/ruble pair at the Moscow stock exchange tradings depreciates by 2.22% with around 69.759 rubles per 1 euro.

The US dollar also dropped by 1.79% to 61.372 rubles per dollar against the Russian ruble. Last time the US currency traded less than 62 rubles was on January 5.

The official euro exchange rate determined by the Central Bank on Thursday fell by 24.43 kopecks to 71.08 rubles, the dollar exchange rate - by 43.52 kopecks to 62.40 rubles.

The value of the dual-currency basket compared to the index on Wednesday decreased by 34.93 amounting to 66.31 rubles.

Analysts say that the main reasons for the Russian currency appreciation is the decrease of geopolitical risks, as well as the trading dynamics in the oil market. This week Brent crude trades above $ 60 per barrel. As at 19.17 MSK the price for 1 barrel of Brent is $ 61.70.

Such factors as an uneasy truce in Ukraine and the price for Brent oil above $ 61 per barrel are advantageous for the Russian currency¨.

"Oil prices have stabilized around $ 60 per barrel, and this creates possibilities for the ruble to stabilize and gain its fair value which is certainly higher," says the chief economist at Deutsche Bank in Russia Yaroslav Lissovolik.

Strengthening of the Russian currency had a positive impact on the Russian stock market indices. The RTS Index gained 3.93% at trading rising to the level of 929.75 points. The MICEX Index trades at the level of 1811.40 points.

The leaders in rising are engineering companies. The MICEX Index-Engineering industry rises by 1.97%. The outsider of Wednesday trading is power industry. The MICEX Index-Power dropped by 2.02%.

The shares of "Mechel" ended trading rising by 6.37% on Wednesday. The shares of "Yandex" and common shares of Sberbank gained more than 5%. The shares of "Polymetal", "Fosagro" and MMC "Norilsk Nickel" are trading today in the red zone.

However, the major obstacle for the Russian currency to rise further is the necessity of the Russian companies to repay large foreign currency borrowings in February and March, says Kopeikin.

"The estimated amount of payments exceeds $ 30 billion. However, the purchase of foreign currency to repay external borrowings in the second half of February is likely to be evened out by the sale of proceeds by exporters for tax payments," states the expert. The Russian currency appreciation may stop due to the new sanctions of the EU. Earlier on Wednesday the spokesman of German Chancellor Angela Merkel Steffen Seibert said that the European Union is ready to impose new sanctions against Russia depending on the situation in Ukraine.

"The risks of changes in the trend are the same and generally speaking they never disappeared, says Yaroslav Lissovolik. A possible decrease in oil prices, an aggravation of the geopolitical situation, new sanctions of the EU and the USA - all these constitute risks, but at the moment these factors are not so powerful, so investors prefer to ignore them".

Text and pictures by GAZETA.RU