The ruble began a new week decline on the Moscow Exchange under the pressure of a sharp increase in the number of applications for the purchase of foreign currency.
The dollar rate, which started trading below 74 rubles and fell in the morning to 73.5125, by 18.01 Moscow time rose to 74.1875 rubles.
In the first hours of the session, the euro renewed its minimum since the beginning of April, dropping to 89.26 rubles, but by the evening it added more than 1%, reaching 90.2750 rubles at the moment.
The Russian currency market felt a fit of weakness shortly after the start of the main trading at 10.00 Moscow time, when the number of those wishing to sell rubles and buy dollars began to grow sharply.
As of 18.06 Moscow time, the exchange registered 6277 thousand orders to buy US currency and only 1435 to sell.
The exchange began to register a surge in demand back on Friday, May 7, when the dollar rate for the first time since March went below 74 rubles. The number of applications peaked at 7795 units against 3.5-5 thousand in late April and early May.
The number of sellers in the dollar-ruble pair with “tomorrow” settlements, on the contrary, has more than halved: while the rate was holding above 75 orders for sale, there were more than 3 thousand during the day, but now it is less than 1.5 thousand.
The ruble “remains much weaker than fundamental values due to the risk of sanctions,” said Stanislav Murashov, an analyst at Raiffeisenbank.
Regarding oil, the Russian currency has not been so weak almost never in history: a barrel in rubles costs about 5 thousand rubles, which the market saw only once – at the peak of the sanctions panic in 2018.
With oil about $ 68 per barrel, a dollar could cost about 65 rubles, Murashov estimates: The main factor now is the preservation of the negative sanctions background – the renewed rhetoric about the disconnection of the Russian banking system from SWIFT, the risks of tougher sanctions on OFZs.
In early summer, the ruble will support the dividend season, says Dmitry Polevoy, investment director at Loko-Invest: corporations will sell foreign currency reserves to pay off shareholders.
By August, the pendulum of currency flows will swing in the opposite direction, and foreign holders of shares that have received rubles will begin to convert them into currency in order to withdraw them from Russia.
Tough sanctions are unlikely at the moment, which means that the geopolitical premium will slowly go off course, although it will not disappear completely, Murashov says. According to his forecast, at current oil prices, the ruble can strengthen to 71-73 per dollar by the end of the year.