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On Wednesday, on the Russian currency market ruble got cheaper by 43 kopecks to U.S. dollar and by 60 kopecks to euro, as a result the euro exchange rate renewed historical maximum surpassing 48 rubles, the U.S. dollar exchange rate got fixed at more than 35 rubles. Strong intervention from the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) on January 27 did not help either.
The Central Bank decided earlier to float a huge amount of foreign currency on the market to stop the ruble falling, the Novye Izvestia daily reported. The daily amount of CBR interventions set a record for the last two years at 39.55 billion rubles (1.14 billion dollars). Interventions of the financial regulator helped slightly “freeze’ the situation on the market.
The Kommersant daily recalled that non-stop ruble weakening has been actually going on since the beginning of 2014. For this period of time the U.S. dollar exchange rate went up 2.33 rubles, the euro exchange rate rose by 2.81 rubles. Finally, Russian ruble turned out to be among outsiders of world currency market from the start of the year, getting cheaper by 6.3% to U.S. dollar. Only South African rand (6.6%) and devaluated Argentine peso (18.6%) have lost more than Russian ruble. Most currencies of other developing countries have devaluated from one percent to five percent for the first incomplete month of this year.
Financial regulators of several developing countries have already begun taking measures aimed at supporting their national currencies, the Kommersant daily noted. Only the CBR remained beyond this tendency. At the beginning of the year the CBR stopped to make target currency interventions, leaving only accumulation interventions. However, with this in view the bank has left the interest rates unchanged.
Many representatives of economic agencies shoulder guilt for falling ruble exactly on the CBR, the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily reported. Russian regulator began too courageously to fulfil two risky experiments - total cleansing of banks with dubious reputation and refusal to support exchange rate formation mechanism and stop planned currency interventions. Losing trust to banks, clients began converting their ruble accounts in cash currency. When the ruble began falling down without CBR’s support, agitation became stronger and Russians began buying free U.S. dollars and euro.
“It is possible to note among factors affecting weaker ruble external ones, related to stronger U.S. dollar on the world market against currencies of developing countries, and internal ones, primarily the CBR policy aimed at targeting the inflation rate and gradually bringing the ruble to free floating,” the RBK daily quoted head of the analytical department of management company Kapital Andrey Verkholantsev. In his words, these steps are reflected in higher volatility of ruble exchange rate.
According to estimates of analysts, U.S. dollar exchange rate may grow to 36-36.5 rubles in the first half of the year and it may increase to 40 rubles for a U.S. dollar by the end of the year, the daily noted.
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