Ruble Dragged Down by Oil as Traders Weigh Friday Rates Meeting

  • Rate divergence isn’t the end of carry trade: Deutsche Bank
  • Bank of Russia expected to cut benchmark 50 bps to 10%

The ruble resumed its slide with oil as a stronger link between the currency and Russia’s biggest export added to concern that a rate cut will deter buyers.

The currency weakened 0.8 percent to 65.0775 per dollar by 5:14 p.m in Moscow as crude oil fell 2.2 percent in London to $47.41 per barrel. The correlation between the two was 0.76 after rising from 0.75. A reading of one would mean the two are in lockstep. Volatility surged to the highest in a week.

The ruble is seen as collateral damage from diverging Russian and U.S. rates. As the Bank of Russia prepares to renew its easing cycle Friday, and the U.S. is seen on the verge of tighter policy, it will shrink the rate gap between the two that made the ruble the most popular destination for carry traders this year after Brazil’s real. Deutsche Bank AG said these concerns are overblown, and forecast another 9.6 percent of profits from the carry trade using borrowed dollars to buy rubles over the next three months.

Even after Governor Elvira Nabiullina reduces the cost of money by 50 basis points to 10 percent, an outcome that is expected by the majority of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, the ruble can rally, said Deutsche Bank strategist Gautam Kalani.

“Real rates in Russia remain attractive, which should support the ruble particularly in a carry-friendly environment,” Kalani said in a note to clients forecasting a 2.9 percent rebound in the ruble to 63 per dollar.

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