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Rouble declining against background of stock, oil mrkt correction

March 12, 2012, 15:45 UTC+3

The US dollar rose 12 kopecks against the rouble after opening to 29.65 roubles, the euro – by 5 kopecks, to 38.87 roubles

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MOSCOW, March 12 (Itar-Tass) — The Russian rouble at the opening of trading on Monday slightly declined within the framework of correction after Sunday’s growth. Global markets once again are showing the signs of dwindling appetite for risk, which weakens the Russian currency. At the same time, high oil prices and certain liquidity deterioration on the Russian market support the rouble.

The US dollar rose 12 kopecks against the rouble after opening to 29.65 roubles, the euro – by 5 kopecks, to 38.87 roubles. The cost of the currency basket in the morning increased by about 9 kopecks against the previous close - to the level of 33.80 roubles.

The single European currency on Monday is again under pressure - the euro-dollar rate fell below the 1.31 mark to 1.3085. The main negative trend is linked with apprehensions over the euro zone economies’ slowdown and expectations of new debt problems with countries outsiders of the region. Against this backdrop, the euro is less firm than the dollar also against the Russian rouble.

As for commodity markets, they do not give cause for concern so far. World oil prices on Friday again rose to the annual maximums, and on Monday slightly declined, still remaining at very high levels. Thus, futures for Brent crude on Monday fell by 0.5 percent to 125.3 dollars per barrel.

Analysts of Nomos Bank on Monday raised outlook for the rouble rate following a raised outlook for oil prices and trade surplus. According to the survey, at the average Urals crude price of $120 per barrel, the current account surplus will be $105 billion, which roughly corresponds to last year’s value - $101 billion.

Against the backdrop of improving world market situation the capital flight from Russia has slowed, but still remains high - about $60 billion, compared to $84 billion in 2011.

Based on the balance of payments forecast, analysts see the rouble strong enough during the year, but say that the main re-evaluation has already occurred. During the next 2 - 3 months the most probable range of fluctuations of the rouble in terms of the currency basket is 33.0 - 34.0 roubles, which suggests the dollar-rouble rate will be within 28.5 - 30.0 rouble, the euro-rouble rate – 38.0 - 39.0 roubles. In the second half of the year, the rouble may fall. The average annual rouble rate forecast against the dollar is 30.0 roubles, according to the survey.

As for the single currency, according to some analysts, it has already “found” the bottom. Certainly, the decline may continue against the background of negative news, but this should be large calibre news: now it is necessary to monitor the dynamics of yield of the state bonds in Portugal. If the levels remain low, the euro will recover. In the next few days its recovery to 1.32 with the further aim of 1.3260 can well be expected, given positive accelerators.

However, it is necessary to take into account such factors as demand for the dollar. A decision on the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy, together with an accompanying statement is expected ahead. If the market gets raised outlooks on economic prospects, sees a greater emphasis on inflationary pressures and feels lesser chances for the implementation of the quantitative easing program, a new wave of strengthening of the dollar can be expected - the main currency pair can go to the mark of 1.30

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