Russia: Ruble recovers some lost ground though early June
The Russian ruble continued to regain ground against the U.S. dollar over the past month after sliding to a four-year low at the end of March. On 5 June, it traded at RUB 68.7 per USD, which marked a 7.3% appreciation over the previous month. That said, the currency was down 4.9% year-on-year and 9.9% year-to-date.
The ruble’s recent upturn came against the backdrop of gradually recovering global oil prices which regained some lost ground after nosediving to a 20-year low in late April. This, coupled with improving investor sentiment and increasing risk appetite for emerging market assets, supported the ruble in recent weeks, sending it to a near three-month high on 2 June.
Going forward, the ruble is expected to remain close to current levels through year-end, although significant volatility due to the economic fallout from Covid-19 poses significant risk. On the one hand, the Russian economy is set to contract severely from Q2 onwards, weighing on the RUB in turn, with sustained monetary policy easing adding further downward pressure. On the other hand, a more stable global oil market and improving investor sentiment should take some pressure off the currency.