Bank Of Russia Calls “Emergency” Meeting To Address Ruble Rout

Bank Of Russia Calls “Emergency” Meeting To Address Ruble Rout:

Earlier today, we highlighted a dramatic plunge in the Russian ruble which has crashed to record lows against the dollar after staging its steepest two-day decline in nine months.

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The sharp (and seemingly inexorable) decline in crude prices combined with Western economic sanctions and geopolitical turmoil have weighed on the currency of late and in the midst of a new leg down in oil, investors appear to be panic selling.

Some investors are selling at any price,” Bernd Berg, an emerging-markets strategist in London at Societe Generale told Bloomberg by e-mail.

And even as Russian central bank Deputy Chairman Vasily Pozdyshev swears “there’s no systemic risk,” the Bank of Russia has now called an emergency meeting with state-run and private lenders to discuss the FX bloodbath.

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Russian Ruble Crashes To Record Lows In “Panic”: “Some Investors Are Selling At Any Price”

Russian Ruble Crashes To Record Lows In “Panic”: “Some Investors Are Selling At Any Price”:

Late last month, we took a look at Russia’s economy and concluded that although the country has proven to be remarkably resilient in the face of collapsing crude prices, the outlook is darkening.

The ruble has fallen for three consecutive years and is now under immense pressure both from Western economic sanctions and from crude’s inexorable decline. “The wish to hedge potential risks from geopolitics and commodities may well push the ruble to 75,” Evgeny Koshelev, an analyst at Rosbank PJSC in Moscow, told Bloomberg by e-mail in December. “It will be interesting to see if there’s a reaction from the central bank, government and households to this weakening.”

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The Ruble is now up almost 22% against the US Dollar year-to-date

Russian Ruble Extends Outperformance – Surges To Strongest Since November (ZeroHedge, April 15, 2015):

Isolated Russia continues to see its currency dramatically outperform the US Dollar. Breaking below 50 today, this is the strongest the Ruble has been since Nov 2014… The Ruble is now up almost 22% against the US Dollar year-to-date.

Strongest since November…

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and best performing currency of the year…

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Charts: Bloomberg

Moscow Launches Ruble-Renminbi Futures To ‘Facilitate Trade Between China And Russia’

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Moscow Launches Ruble-Renminbi Futures To “Facilitate Trade Between China And Russia” (ZeroHedge, March 17, 2015):

While the west huffs and puffs, and threatens to unleash even more “costs” on Russia in the form of additional sanctions which will assure that Europe’s latest deflationary recession is even more acute, an “isolated” Russia is looking to outside, and to the east, and as part of its most recent de-dollarization initiative, the Moscow Exchange announced it has started trading Chinese Renminbi-Russian Ruble currency futures.

From the press release:

From 17 March the Moscow Exchange has started trading in a futures contract on the currency pair Chinese Renminbi — Russian rouble

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Russia Cuts Interest Rate From 15% To 14%, Ruble Rises

Russia Cuts Interest Rate From 15% To 14%, Ruble Rises (ZeroHedge, March 12, 2015):

Following the dramatic December surge in Russian interest rates when the Bank of Russia scrambled to preserve confidence in the then-plummeting currency and sent the interest rate to a whopping 17%, now that the oil price crash has stabilized it has been walking down this dramatic move, and after reducing rates by 2% on January 30 to 15%, moments ago the Bank of Russia once again cut rates this time by the expected 100 bps to 14%. The bank also said that more rate cuts are in the pipeline.

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This Is What Gold (Always) Does In a Currency Crisis

From the article:

“It won’t be long before this chart is replicated in a whole lot of other places. But by then it will be too late to prepare. The gold will be gone …”


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This Is What Gold Does In a Currency Crisis (Dollar Collapse, Dec 16, 2014):

To say that gold is in a bear market is to misunderstand both gold and markets. Gold isn’t an investment that goes up and down. It is money in the most basic store-of-value sense. Most of the time it just sits there, and when its price changes in local currency terms that says more about the local currency than about gold.

But when currencies collapse, gold shines.

Consider the above from the point of view of a typical Russian. The ruble is tanking (no need to understand why — all fiat currencies go this way eventually and the proximate cause is almost irrelevant). Russians who trusted their government and kept their savings in, say, a bank account, are losing their shirts. But those who own boring, doesn’t-pay-interest, in-a-bear-market gold have seen their capital appreciate in local currency terms by about 60 percent in just the past month. They’re not “making money,” but they are preserving wealth.

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Putin: Russian Economy Will Inevitably Bounce Back, 2 Years In Worst Case Scenario

Putin: Russian economy will inevitably bounce back, 2 years in worst case scenario (RT, Dec 18, 2014):

The Russian economy is to start growing again in 2 years in the worst case scenario, President Vladimir Putin said at his annual press conference. Russia, which is facing recession, is ready to fight the impending crisis, as it did in 2008, he said.

WATCH PUTIN’S Q&A LIVE

“The economy will grow. And our economy will get out of the current situation,”Putin said, adding that he expected the economy to grow by 0.6 percent in 2014. He said the government will handle the crisis similarly to 2008.

In 2008, Russia along with the much of the rest of the world fell into recession, losing 7.8 percent of GDP in 2009. The Russian economy fared the crisis rather well, and the economy was back on track with 4.5 percent growth in 2010.

Russia’s 2014 budget will have a 1.9 percent surplus relative to GDP, despite the turbulent economic situation, the Russian president said.

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IMF Now Ready To Slam The Door On The U.S. And The Dollar

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IMF Now Ready To Slam The Door On The U.S. And The Dollar (ALT-MARKET, Dec 17, 2014):

As I write this, the news is saturated with stories of a hostage situation possibly involving Islamic militants in Sydney, Australia. Like many, I am concerned about the shockwave such an event will create through our sociopolitical structures. However, while most of the world will be distracted by the outcome of this crisis (for good or bad) for at least the week, I find I must concern myself with a far more important and dangerous situation.

Up to 40 people may be held by a supposed extremist in Sydney,but the entire world is currently being held hostage economically by international banks. This is the crisis no one in the mainstream is talking about, so alternative analysts must.

As I predicted last month in “We Have Just Witnessed The Last Gasp Of The Global Economy,” severe volatility is now returning to global markets after the pre-game 10 percent drop in equities in October hinted at what was to come.

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Russian Food Suppliers Have Begun Halting Shipments

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Russian Food Suppliers Have Begun Halting Shipments (ZeroHedge, Dec 17, 2014):

Until now, when it comes to the fallout in the Russian economy from the crude price plunge leading to a collapse in the Russian currency, most of the interest has been on how the Russian financial system recovers and/or survives and just as importantly, what Putin’s response would be. Just yesterday, we wrote that as a result of capital controls fears, many western banks led by Goldman Sachs had halted liquidity to Russian clients and other local entities.

However while the adverse impact on the Russian banking system has been mostly confined to the upper class – since there is virtually no middle class in the country to speak of – the second cold war of words, which rapidly morphed into a very hot financial war, is about to hit the very ordinary Russian on the street, because as Russia’s Vedomosti reports, citing vegetable producer Belaya Dacha, juice maker Sady Pridoniya and others, Russian suppliers are suspending food shipments to stores because of unpredictable FX movements. And it is about to get worse: very soon Russians may have to live without imported alcohol because at least on supplier of offshore booze, Simple, halted shipments in “a two-day pause” to see what happens with the ruble, Vedomosti reports.

The full story from Vedomosti:

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Russian Stocks Soar 17% – Most Since 2008; Ruble Back Below 62/USD

– Russian Stocks Soar 17% – Most Since 2008; Ruble Back Below 62/USD (ZeroHedge, Dec 17, 2014):

After falling for 15 of the last 16 days, the RTS (Russian Stocks) are surging 17% today, extending gains post CBR 7 Measures, the most since October 2008.The Ruble is soaring also – back below 62/USD.

RTS biggest gain since Oct 2008…

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Juiced by the CBR Measures…

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Charts: bloomberg

Russian Central Bank Releases 7 Measures It Will Take To Stabilize The Financial Sector

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Russian Central Bank Releases 7 Measures It Will Take To Stabilize The Financial Sector (ZeroHedge, Dec 17, 2014):

In its latest effort to counter financial instability – and show its commitment to maintaining order and support for the economy – Russia’s Central Bank (CBR) has unveiled 7 new measures… Ranging from bank recaps to measures aimed at helping manage interest-rate and credit risks, the reaction in the Ruble is positive for now… as perhaps, taking a lesson from the US, The CBR removes Mark-to-Market accounting for various credit instruments.

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A Full-Blown Economic Crisis Has Erupted In Russia

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A Full-Blown Economic Crisis Has Erupted In Russia (Economic Collapse, Dec 16, 2014):

The 8th largest economy on the entire planet is in a state of turmoil right now.  The shocking collapse of the price of oil has hit a lot of countries really hard, but very few nations are as dependent on energy production as Russia is.  Sales of oil and natural gas account for approximately two-thirds of all Russian exports and approximately 50 percent of all government revenue. So it should be no surprise that the fact that the price of oil has declined by almost 50 percent since June is absolutely catastrophic for the Russian economy.  And when you throw in international sanctions, wild money printing by the Central Bank of Russia and unprecedented capital flight, you get the ingredients for an almost perfect storm.  But those of us living in the western world should not be too smug about what is happening in Russia, because the nightmare that is unfolding over there is just a preview of the economic chaos that will soon envelop the whole world.

So far this year, the Russian ruble has fallen nearly 50 percent against the U.S. dollar.  That is a monumental shift.  And as the collapse of the ruble has accelerated in recent days, we are seeing scenes in Russia that are reminiscent of the Weimar Republic.  For example, just consider the following excerpt from an article that just appeared in the New York Times

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‘Ruble Trading To Resume’

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“Ruble Trading To Resume” (ZeroHedge, Dec 17, 2014):

As already noted, yesterday one after another FX broker scrambled to disconnected the Russian currency from the system due to “western banks stopping quoting pricing” and as a result of epic volatility (and as everyone knows, brokers prefer to only trade those pairs where they know with near certainty they can pick 1 pip or so from every trade which is why they prefer stability and orderly markets). However, in the aftermath of today’s announcement that the Russia finance ministry will join the central bank in selling reserves, the RUB has found a bid. And sure enough, here come the FX brokers barging back, advising that Ruble trading is set to resume this afternoon.

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Back To The Basic Fundamentals: The Dollar Versus The Ruble

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Surprise! Guess which currency has stronger fundamentals— the dollar or… ruble? (Sovereign Man, Dec 16, 2014):

Last night, the Russian central bank announced a shock decision to hike up its key interest rate from 10.5% to 17%, effective immediately. Incredible.

On Monday alone the ruble declined more than 9% against the dollar, and almost 50% in 2014. It looks like a massacre.

If you listen to conventional financial news, they’ll all tell you that you’d have to be insane to own anything in Russia right now—stocks, bonds, currency, etc.

They’ll tell you that the ruble is in freefall, and that the dollar is the place to be.

But if you have been a reader of this column for any length of time, you know that I am a very data-driven person.

So… just for kicks, I decided to dive into the numbers and make an objective comparison between the US dollar and the Russian ruble.

The results might surprise you.

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Western Banks Cut Off Liquidity To Russian Entities

Western Banks Cut Off Liquidity To Russian Entities (ZeroHedge, Dec 16, 2014):

As Zero Hedge first reported today, shortly before noon one (and subsequently more) FX brokers advised clients that any existing Ruble positions would be forcibly closed out because “western banks have stopped pricing USDRUB“, over concerns of Russian capital controls. Ironically, it was this forced liquidation of mostly short RUB positions that pushed the RUB higher, which in turn had a briefly favorably impact on energy commodities and risk assets, as the market had by then perceived the Ruble selloff as excessive. Of course, since nothing had actually changed aside from a temporary market technical, the selloff promptly resumed into the close of trading once the market finally understood what we had explained hours previously.

And unfortunately for the bulls, various falling knife-catchers, and those who hope the Russian situation will stabilize imminently with or without capital controls, it appears things in Russia are about to get a whole lot worse because as the WSJ reports, the next driver of the Russian crisis is likely to come from within the banking system itself because global banks are curtailing the flow of cash to Russian entities, a response to the ruble’s sharpest selloff since the 1998 financial crisis.”

Presenting Russia’s banks: now cut off from the outside world as the second cold war goes nuclear, at least when it comes to the financial system:

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The Russian Ruble Is Hereby Halted Until Further Notice

The Russian Ruble Is Hereby Halted Until Further Notice (ZeroHedge, Dec 16, 2014):

Earlier, we reported that various currency brokers such as FXCM and FxPro, would – as a result of the soaring liquidity in the USDRUB pair – suspend trading in the Russian Ruble (while other merely hiked margins to ridiculous levels). It appears things have escalated again, and as FXCM just reported, instead of just politely advising clients not to open new USDRUB position tomorrow, it has advised anyone long, or short, the USDRUB that their positions will be forcibly shut in moments.

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So for those curious why there appears to be a collapse in Ruble volatility in the past few hours which in turn has sent both stocks and crude soaring, the answer is simple: nobody is trading it!

And this is what happened following the post: as soon as all those short the RUB (long USDRUB) realized they have to take profits, the USDRUB tumbled some 500 pips (!) in the process sending stocks surging.

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h/t @Paul_Courtney

 

‘The USDRUB Pair Will Be Discontinued Due To Recent Instability Of The Russian Ruble’

“The USDRUB Pair Will Be Discontinued Due To Recent Instability Of The Russian Ruble” (ZeroHedge, Dec 16, 2014):

Dear Russian Ruble traders, please find a different sandbox, because “evil speculators” will no longer be tolerated, first at Forex Capital Markets and soon, everywhere else.

Ruble trading discontinued

And now, unless the selloff in US equity futures is immediately halted, expect the first self-help headline in US markets to strike – as usual – within hours.

* * *

Update: And now FxPro:

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Ruble Plummets Losing More Than 20% In A Day, Hitting New Dollar And Euro Lows

Ruble plummets losing more than 20% in a day, hitting new dollar and euro lows (RT, Dec 16, 2014):

No end seems to be in sight for the plight of the Russian ruble, which slumped to new record lows against hard currencies Tuesday. The EUR traded at 93.5 against the ruble, and the USD at 75.

The Russian stock market also went haywire, dropping more than 15 percent as of 2:30pm Moscow time, after it dropped 11 percent the day before. Sberbank, the country’s largest lender, lost 17.77 percent, and VTB, the second biggest bank, fell by 14.29 percent. State-owned oil and gas companies Gazprom, Rosneft, and Surgut also saw shares plummet.

The emergency interest rate hike to 17 percent has failed to halt the ruble’s landslide tumble against hard currencies. The rate increase only calmed the ruble temporarily.

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Russia Shocks With Emergency Rate Hike, Boosts Interest Rate From 10.5% To 17%

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Russia Shocks With Emergency Rate Hike, Boosts Interest Rate From 10.5% To 17% (ZeroHedge, Dec 15, 2014):

Following the biggest rout to the Ruble in ages, Russia – unlike Mario Draghi – instead of talking the talk decided to walk the bazooka walk and shocked all those long the USDRUB by unleashing an emergency rate hike (at 1 am in the morning) from the recently raised interest rate of 10.50% to… hold on to your hats… 17.00%, a 650 bps increase!

From the press release:

The Board of Directors of the Bank of Russia has decided to increase from December 16, 2014 the key rate to 17.00% per annum. This decision was driven by the need to limit significantly increased in recent devaluation and inflation risks.

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Russia Central Banks Scrambles To Halt Plunging Ruble, Spends Over $2 Billion In Last Three Days As Inflation Soars

Russia Central Banks Scrambles To Halt Plunging Ruble, Spends Over $2 Billion In Last Three Days As Inflation Soars (ZeroHedge, Oct, 8, 2014):

Recently, not a day passes without the Russian Ruble hitting new record lows against the US Dollar due to a combination of both capital outflows from Russia, tumbling prices of crude – Moscow’s most important export – which deteriorates Russia trade and current account position, coupled with the most acute USD strengthening in history in the past few months over fears of a tightening Fed.

Yet for whatever the reason, after stoically ignoring the impact of its tumbling currency on the domestic economy (and as a reminder, Japan would kill for a currency collapse of this magnitude: just think of the “economic renaissance” that would result if only Abenomics was right about killing your currency leading to growth… which it isn’t), the Kremlin is finally starting to feel the pinch leading to the biggest central bank intervention in FX markets since the start of the Ukraine campaign, buying Rubles for a third consecutive day at an amount of over $2 billion, with $1.75 billion purchased in the first two days of the current intervention attempt, and another $420 million in foreign currencies sold overnight according to Bank of Russia data.

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