The ruble in the near future, it may again weaken. The Central Bank is going from 1 February to buy additional foreign currency on the domestic market of 2.8 billion rubles a day for three years. This was reported by the press service of the Bank of Russia.
We will remind, in August 2018, the national regulator refused currency interventions due to a sharp weakening of the ruble. Operations resumed on 15 January the Bank of Russia acquires foreign currency in the amount of about 15.6 billion in the budgetary rules. But since February, he wants to gradually compensate losses from temporary withdrawal from the market.
And that’s not all. In February, the weakening of the ruble will start to play the second fundamental factor is the actions of the Federal reserve system (FRS). The regulator is preparing to withdraw a record amount of funds from the market that will drive demand for the American currency.
According to analysts at Nomura, in February the volume of operations Federal reserve will increase from January’s $ 35 billion and a half times — to $ 52 billion Withdrawal from the market of large funds will strengthen the American currency: the dollar will rise, and the demand for emerging market currencies, including the ruble will fall.
Theoretically, the ruble could keep rising in price oil. In fact, the forecasts of prices for «black gold» is very different. The IMF and the world Bank forecasts average annual prices decreased to $ 58,95 $ 67 per barrel, $ 10 and $ 4 dollars, respectively. The forecasts of other analytical frameworks have the range from $ 55 to $ 70 per barrel.
This is because it is not clear: as implemented in 2019 risks like the growth in U.S. shale oil production and the termination of the agreement OPEC+. It was also unclear the fate of anti-Iran sanctions on oil exports. All this allows us to hope for a clear trend to support the ruble.
There is an additional negative point: the reduction of imports in 2018, mainly due to the high-tech equipment. That is, by investing in the modernization of production. If so, in 2019 we will see a reduction in the rate of growth of the Russian economy — in all sectors. This, of course, the strengthening of the ruble also does not help.
What will happen to the ruble in February, how much will shrink the national currency?
— Many financial analysts remain hostage to the theoretical scheme: in case of purchase of currency, it puts pressure on the ruble weaken, — said the head of «Finance and Economics» Institute of contemporary development Nikita Maslennikov. But, on the other hand, the large experience of such purchases is not, and the theory does not always coincide with actual results.
Notice that the ruble is practically not notice the presence of the Central Bank on the market — contrary to theoretical calculations. In addition, the Bank of Russia has carefully: there is no specified amount of currency, which need blood from his nose to buy here and now, under any circumstances. The real volume of purchases ranged from 15 billion to 25 billion per day.
Yes, the Bank of Russia now decided to go back to a pending procurement. But, as can be understood from the explanations of the first Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank Ksenia Yudayeva, the volume of these additional purchases will also be adjusted depending on market conditions.
In any case, the fact that we are not purchased in 2018 for five months, we’ll buy in three years. And while I don’t see this as a strong factor in the weakening of the ruble. Of course, the pressure on the national currency it has — but not critical.
«SP»: — How strong will be the impact on the ruble because of the actions of the fed?
— The scenario that the dollar will rise and the currencies of developing markets gives way — one of many. We need to wait for official clarification from the fed on this. I have serious doubts that the Americans will dramatically tighten monetary policy. Rather, they will go on a one-time increase in the key rate, and are unlikely to drastically reduce the balance of the fed.
I think the fed will pause until the moment when will be known the outcome of trade negotiations with China: will the participants to a deal by March 1 or not. In addition, I believe, before the end of these negotiations, the rhetoric of the American regulator will be as «pigeon» to reassure the markets, and not allow them to break down.
This means that the ruble fed policy over the next few weeks will be factor neutral.
«SP»: — on 28 January, the administration of Donald trump entered large-scale sanctions against PDVSA, the national oil company of Venezuela. It will lose major market share and won’t be able to get money from their us refineries. Lock of Venezuelan oil may push up the price of «black gold» and support the ruble?
Venezuelan factor, the market for a long time played: the production decline in Venezuela lasted several months. This drop-down volume of oil immediately replaced other oil-producing countries. That’s partly why, despite December’s deal to cut OPEC production, supply exceeds demand in the oil market of 2.3 million barrels daily.
After the announcement of the US Treasury’s sanctions against PDVSA the price of Brent moved up by just 1%. This is a very average volatility.
Yes, the oil market always reacts so-called military award to a civil war in the oil-producing state, or armed external aggression. We saw this during the Iraq war, and against the background of Iran’s declarations about readiness to block the Strait of Hormuz for oil tankers.
In such situations the price can go for $ 20-40 per barrel. But, apparently, the events in Venezuela market to them will not carry.
«SP»: — What will still be the ruble to the end of 2019?
— The trend of gradual weakening of the national currency is obvious. This, I stress, not collapse and not a disaster.
I think at the end of the year the ruble will be in the range of 68.5−71 rbl./dollar. But it is — considering the tough scenario of slowing global economy. If the Americans will be able to find a compromise with the Chinese, the ruble will be a little tight.