MOSCOW, December 31. /TASS/. The coronavirus pandemic, the escalation of the geopolitical environment and the subsiding risk appetite of investors in 2020 resulted in a substantial weakening of the Russian ruble against the main currencies. Particularly, the dollar added 20% against the ruble in 2020, whereas the euro - around 32%.
The coronavirus infection spread and the following ‘withdrawal’ of investors from risky assets was the key driver of market concerns in 2020 both in Russia and abroad. The collapse of the OPEC+ deal at the beginning of the year also contributed to serious negative moves on trading venues.
As a result, a massive collapse of markets in March 2020 hit not only Russian assets, but a wide range of currencies and securities around the globe as well. The dollar exchange rate against the ruble gained 32% in March compared with the January opening, reaching the peak levels since 2016 of 81.97 rubles. The euro exchange rate rose by 30% to 89.6 rubles.
By the end of the year assets on Russia’s stock market, as well as oil prices, demonstrated an impressive recovery, whereas the national currency only partially (by 5%) bounced back against the dollar and lost another roughly 2% compared with the March peak against the euro.
The ruble extended losses by the end of Wednesday, the last trading day in 2020, as well despite the continuing risk appetite of investors. Particularly, as of 11:54 pm, the dollar exchange rate was up by 0.51% to 74.415 rubles, while the euro was up by 0.93% at 91.518 rubles.