Russia: Rouble weakens in March
March 31, 2012
On 30 March, the Russian rouble (RUB) traded at 29.29 per USD, which was 1.2% weaker than in the last day of the previous month. The decline contrasted the 4.7% rise recorded in February and marked the first drop after two consecutive monthly gains. As a result, the rouble has gained an accumulated 8.5% versus the USD this year, but is trading 3.0% below the level reached at the end of March 2011. Recent figures showed that the rouble continued to depreciate this month. On 9 April the rouble traded at 29.5 against the USD, which was 0.6% weaker than the level observed at the end of March. The depreciation shadowed the trajectory of the Ural oil price, which moderated slightly in March. In addition, capital outflows, which exerted downward pressure on the rouble at the end of 2011, likely picked up in March after having moderated at the beginning of the year on the back of the unstable political outlook. Outflows amounted to USD 35.1 billion in Q1 2012, according to Central Bank estimates, which virtually equalled the result recorded in the previous quarter. Deputy Central Bank Chairman Alexei Ulyukayev recently stated that capital movements may change sign in the coming months and that net capital inflow may be achieved in May or June.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions