At the beginning of the week, the dollar exchange rate dropped below 89 rubles/$, hitting a five-month low. The game in favor of the ruble is facilitated by the preparation of exporters for the tax period and the increased risks of fines in case of refusal to sell foreign currency earnings. According to analysts, by the end of the month the dollar exchange rate may drop to 83–85 rubles/$.
Foreign exchange market participants started the new week by playing to strengthen the Russian currency. Already during the morning session of the Moscow Exchange, the dollar exchange rate dropped by almost 50 kopecks, to 89.50 rubles/$. From the beginning of the main session, the decline accelerated, and by 12:00 the rate reached 88.13 rubles/$, the minimum since June 30. At the end of the day, it stopped at 88.4 rubles/$, having lost 1.6 rubles during the day. This was the largest decline in 2023. The euro exchange rate lost 1.12 rubles during the day. and rolled back to 96.7 rubles/€. The yuan fell in price by 15 kopecks. and closed at RUB 12.318/CNY.
The update of the multi-month minimum in the dollar exchange rate occurred with high investor activity. The volume of trading in American currency for delivery “tomorrow” amounted to 131 billion rubles at the end of Monday, which is almost one and a half times higher than last Friday and the best result over the past five weeks. The volume of yuan trading amounted to almost 164 billion rubles, which is a third higher than the result of the previous day.
A confident strengthening of the ruble with high investor activity may indicate the activation of exporters within decree President on the mandatory sale of foreign currency earnings.
In addition, on November 17, the State Duma, in the third reading, adopted a law on strict fines for those who conceal currency from the state.
“Under the conditions of mandatory sale of foreign currency earnings, the market may be influenced by the actions of large players,” notes Sovcombank chief analyst Natalya Vashchelyuk. The head of the analytical department of Zenit Bank, Vladimir Evstifeev, adds that at the same time, the income of export companies themselves is growing against the backdrop of more than two months of high oil prices.
Indeed, the drop in energy prices that occurred last week was short-lived. According to Investing.com, the price of Brent oil on the spot market on Monday reached $83.2 per barrel, which is 2.7% higher than Friday’s close and almost 8% higher than the local minimum set last Thursday.
The rapid recovery in oil prices was facilitated by market participants’ expectations regarding a further reduction in production volumes as part of the OPEC+ deal.
“A more significant reduction in production levels or extension of existing restrictions for a longer period could support oil prices,” Mr. Evstifeev believes.
The American currency has also lost ground on the world market. According to Investing.com, on Monday the DXY index (the dollar exchange rate against six leading currencies) fell to 103.47 points, 0.5% below Friday’s close and its lowest level since the beginning of autumn. At the same time, the euro exchange rate rose by 0.4%, to $1.0946, the maximum since mid-August.
In the coming days, the strengthening of the ruble may continue, which will be facilitated by the approaching tax period.
According to analysts at Zenit Bank, in November the volume of basic taxes payable will amount to 2.75 trillion rubles, which is 15% less than in October. “Exporters will sell less currency than last month, but it should be enough to maintain the inertia towards restoring the ruble’s position,” notes Evgeny Loktyukhov, head of the PSB’s economic and industry analysis department. “In addition, the currency structure of import payments will most likely change in towards increasing the share of settlements in rubles.”
Mr. Loktyukhov admits that in the next week or week and a half the dollar exchange rate may return to the level of 83–85 rubles/$. However, Natalya Vashchelyuk believes that as the rate approaches 85 rubles/$, investors will begin to actively buy the dollar, so “it will be quite difficult to overcome the mark.”