USD/RUB: Ruble steady ahead of Russia Central Bank decision

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on Apr 24, 2024
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  • Russia’s economy ministry upgraded the country’s economic outlook for the year.
  • It expects that the economy will grow by 2.8% this year, higher than the previous estimate of 2.3%.
  • The Central Bank of Russia will publish its interest rate decision this week.

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The USD/RUB exchange rate has retreated in the past few days as investors react to the positive Russian economic numbers and elevated oil prices. The Russian ruble strengthened to 92.85 against the US dollar from last week’s low of 94.81.

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Russia’s economy is doing well

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The USD to RUB exchange rate pulled back after the Russian government boosted the economic outlook for the country.

In a statement, the economy ministry estimated that the country will grow by 2.8% this year. In its previous estimate, the ministry said that the economy would grow by 2.3%.

There is a likelihood that the economy will do better than estimates. Last year, it grew by over 3.6% in 2023, higher than the estimated 3.2%. 

Also, the estimate assumes that the price of crude oil will average about $65 per barrel. Recent numbers show that the price of Brent has soared to over $87 while the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) has moved to $83. Russian urals are trading at over $70.

Russia’s performance is also being boosted by the country’s investments in the defense industry as the war in Ukraine continues. These investments have helped drive up industrial production and lower the unemployment rate, which stands at 2.9%.

However, there are signs that inflation is holding steady and the trend is not moving in the right direction. The most recent figure showed that the headline Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose to 7.7% in March, up from last year’s low of 2.3%.

Therefore, attention is now shifting to the upcoming Central Bank of Russia (CBR) interest rate decision. Economists expect that the bank will leave rates steady at 16%, where they have been in the past three months. It has hiked rates from last year’s low of 7.50%.

There will be other important economic numbers that will impact the USD/RUB pair this week. Russia will release its industrial production and retail sales numbers this week. In the US, the economy will publish the GDP and PCE data.

USD/RUB technical analysis

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USD/RUB

USD/RUB chart by TradingView

The daily chart shows that the USD to RUB pair has drifted downwards in the past few days. It has dropped below the ascending trendline that connects the lowest lines since January 16th.

The pair has also formed an ascending triangle patter, which is usually a bullish sign. This pattern can also be seen as a double-top pattern, a popular bearish sign.

The pair is also oscillating at the 50-day and 25-day Exponential Moving Averages (EMA) while the Relative Strength Index (RSI) has drifted downwards.

Therefore, the outlook for the USD/RUB pair is neutral for now. It could remain in this range for a while and break out in either direction. The key support levels to watch will be at 90 and 95. 

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