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Rouble surge comes to a halt on risk aversion and lower oil

The Russian Rouble rallied throughout much of Wednesday trade after opening sharply lower.

A three day sell off saw the Russian currency lose nearly 5% amidst concerns about the economic outlook voiced by Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, combined with a range of external factors which have seen the U.S. dollar firm against most major currencies and gold and oil prices hit heavily. The correction came in the wake of recent mounting concern about the implications for the Russian economy if it continued to gain against major currencies, with the Central Bank of Russia recently cutting the key refinancing rate for the 9th time this year.

A key factor in the correction has been the return to risk aversion in the wake of the Dubai moratorium call on $26 billion dollars of debt, and ratings downgrades on Greek sovereign debt, which is related to downgrades of major Greek banks.

The combination of events has pushed the Russian currency lower within its trading band against the Dollar Euro basket. Robert Saharov, Head of Equities at Olma Investment Groupbelieves the Central Bank of Russia may intervene to stabilize the correction.

“The recent decline can be attributed to global factors and a weaker oil price. We expect the Russian central bank to actually step in now and support the Rouble at these levels the Rouble is currently trading at 37.3 Roubles to the basket, which is at the top end of the central banks floating rate which between 35 and 38. The Rouble has also come off on very little volume, so the central bank shouldn’t have much problem propping up the Rouble at these levels, and the current weakness could also be attributed to the fact that speculators have decided to get out of riskier currencies such as the Rouble especially on the back of what we see in Dubai and Greece.”

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