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8 Feb, 2021 14:35

Morgan Stanley shrugs off anti-Russian sanctions risks & bets on stronger ruble

Morgan Stanley shrugs off anti-Russian sanctions risks & bets on stronger ruble

The Russian ruble has hit a two-week high against the US dollar and the euro, buoyed by rising oil prices and a positive outlook for the market, with Morgan Stanley expecting the currency to extend gains.

The ruble was trading around 0.3 percent higher against the greenback on Monday and reached 74.4 per dollar, marking the highest level since January 22. The euro lost over 0.5 percent against the Russian currency, allowing the ruble to hit nearly a three-week peak against it.

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The appreciation of the Russian currency has had an impact on Russian stock markets. Both the main ruble-denominated Russian index, the MOEX, and the dollar-based RTS index gained over one percent on the first trading day of the week. 

The Russian currency’s rally comes as oil prices show further signs of recovery from last year's turmoil and reached pre-pandemic levels. On Monday, futures for global benchmark Brent surpassed $60 per barrel for the first time since January 2020, before the coronavirus crisis started wreaking havoc on global energy markets.

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The ruble has room for further growth, investment bank Morgan Stanley believes as it opened a long ruble position against a basket of the dollar and the euro. In a note titled ‘Enough Waiting, Time To Buy’, the bank’s analysts said that “it’s time to get back into Russian assets,” while they expect a six-percent appreciation in the Russian currency, Reuters reported citing the document. The bank also said that the threat of sanctions against Russia linked to the case of jailed opposition figure Alexey Navalny would not pose risk to the country's macroeconomic outlook.

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