Wondering What Will Be The Next Russian Rouble (RUB) As National Bank Can Increase The Rate

Wondering What Will Be The Next Russian Rouble (RUB) As National Bank Can Increase The Rate

On Thursday, the Russian ruble rolled back to 74.50, and on Friday morning, it rewrote these local lows to recover to the levels from which it started the year, winning back the failure in geopolitics.

However, the strengthening of the ruble took place not so much on political de-escalation but on the actions of the Bank of Russia. And today, we are waiting for new actions that can both strengthen the positions of the Russian currency and return the ruble to the path of decline. We are inclined to believe that the CBR will remain on the side of the ruble.

When making a decision on the key rate, the CBR will weigh the actual and expected inflation rates both in Russia and in the world, and there is little reason to relax. The latest estimates of inflation in Russia have shown that the annual rate of price growth has accelerated again, requiring a further tightening of the screws.

The Bank of Russia may turn the ruble to decline - 1

Under these conditions, the Bank of Russia is likely to raise the rate by 100 points - the second time in a row. Previously, the CBR maintained parity between the rate and the annual inflation rate, but now it makes sense to step up pressure to suppress inflation. At the same time, we should be prepared to hear comments that such a sharp increase may not be required in the future. Based on inflationary trends, the key rate could reach its 10% ceiling for this tightening cycle before the end of March and then hold at this level for another year.

Another factor is the volatility of the ruble and geopolitics. In January, the CBR decided to suspend purchases of foreign currency for the Ministry of Finance in order to reduce pressure on the ruble in the Russian financial market. The biggest risk for the ruble is that the CBR will announce today that it is returning to buying foreign currency. Such a move could hit the ruble hard. However, we believe that it would be logical for the CBR to extend the pause in purchases at least until the end of the exercises in Belarus, that is, until the end of February. The strengthening of the ruble, as a side effect of expensive oil and the suspension of foreign currency purchases, can additionally work to slow down import inflation and consumer inflation in general.

If we are right, then the ruble may remain in an uptrend until the end of February, rushing to the 71 area by the end of the month. However, it is still difficult to expect a steady growth of the Russian currency to the area below 70.

Alex Kuptsikevich

Alex Kuptsikevich

Financial market professional with 16-years' experience and Senior financial analyst at FxPro. Author of daily reviews on the impact of economic events with comments regularly featured in top international and Russian media. Covers fundamental analysis, global markets, foreign exchange market, gold, oil, cryptocurrencies.

Alex Kuptsikevich is a regular contributor to both digital and print media including CNBC, Forbes, Reuters, MarketWatch, BBC and Coindesk.