The rapid strengthening of the ruble on the Moscow Exchange ended as unexpectedly as it began.
The Russian currency weakens again in trading on Thursday amid reports that emergency negotiations to resolve the situation in Donbass ended in vain.
Having started the day with a decrease of 22 kopecks, to 76.73 rubles, the dollar began to rise in price after the start of the main session (at 10.00 Moscow time) and added 66 kopecks per hour, reaching 77.39 rubles.
The euro rate from morning lows at 91.1 rubles grew to 91.9150 rubles.
At 12.05 Moscow time, transactions with the settlement of tomorrow are concluded at 77.14 rubles per dollar (+ 0.14%) and 91.6025 rubles per euro (+ 0.23%).
The emergency meeting of the contact group on Donbass, which took place the day before, ended in nothing, the plenipotentiary representative of Russia Boris Gryzlov told RIA Novosti.
He put all the responsibility on Kiev, which, according to Gryzlov, “blocked without any arguments all constructive and specific by the mechanism of verification of violations” of the ceasefire.
“The participants of the contact group hoped that as a result of the meeting, concrete steps would be proposed for the implementation of additional measures. However, the four-hour discussion ended in vain. Instead, Ukrainian representatives attempted to emasculate and distort these measures again, ”Gryzlov said.
The Ukrainian side blamed Russia. Kiev made an attempt to adopt a statement following the meeting, but the delegation from Moscow “began to cling to all sorts of little things in the wording,” said the press secretary of the Ukrainian delegation to the TCG, Oleksiy Arestovich.
“We were bargaining on separate words and points. We indicated that we are ready to compromise. They offered to leave the bureaucracy alone until people on both sides stop dying. Let’s, they say, now ensure a ceasefire, as it was in July-August, when the shooting actually stopped almost completely. We asked the Russian side directly: are you interested in preventing people from dying? They say: “Well, we want the parties to fulfill the agreements” … But we have already agreed. And so on in a circle, “Kommersant quotes Arestovich.
“The ruble remains a hostage of geopolitics,” and “foreign policy risks associated with the deterioration of the situation in the East of Ukraine continue to put pressure on it,” said Andrey Kochetkov, chief analyst at Otkritie Broker.
The day before, the dollar rate rose above 78 rubles and renewed its maximum since November, after which a large currency seller extended a helping hand to the market, who dropped almost $ 1 billion in two hours and returned the ruble to below 77 per dollar.
Probably, the help came from one of the major exporters, analysts from Sberbank CIB write. The corporations have the resources for this: in November-February, their foreign currency accounts were replenished by $ 30 billion (a record since 2014), and the total size of the “currency cushion” reached a 4-year maximum ($ 271 billion).
The mysterious hand that strengthened the ruble on Wednesday did not reach the Moscow Exchange on Thursday, while the risks of new Western sanctions, fears of a conflict in eastern Ukraine, as well as falling demand for Russian sovereign debt continue to play against the Russian currency, the head of the IAC Alpari lists »Alexander Razuvaev.
But this situation – relatively expensive oil and a cheap ruble – is very profitable for oil exporters and the budget, so it is not worth waiting for the Central Bank to switch to a strong ruble policy, the expert said.