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Ruble Drops as Bond Sale Fails to Sell Out: Russia Reality Check

As markets react in real time to Russia’s incursion into Crimea and the annexation of the Black Sea peninsula, the ruble weakened after the Finance Ministry failed to sell out its weekly bond auction.

The ruble declined 0.1 percent to 34.3750 per dollar, paring its appreciation since Feb. 28, a day before President Vladimir Putin’s incursion, to 4.4 percent. The Finance Ministry sold 8.65 billion rubles ($252 million) of OFZ bonds due January 2028 out of 10 billion rubles offered at the auction held on the last working day before a central bank rate meeting on June 16. Russia has holidays on June 12 and June 13.

The chart shows the performance of stocks, bonds and the ruble, along with indicators of Russian investment risk. Yields on government notes due February 2027 rose two basis points to 8.56 percent, taking the increase since Feb. 28 to 20 basis points. The Micex Index gained 0.7 percent to 1,501.18, extending its advance in the period to 3.9 percent.

The top panel displays the value of the Micex Index of 50 Russian equities, government debt in the Bloomberg Russia Local Sovereign Bond Index, and the ruble relative to the dollar. Credit default swap rates on Russian bonds due in five years appear in the bottom panel. The yield gap between Russian debt and U.S. Treasuries and the one-month implied volatility of the ruble are also tracked.

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