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29.05.2020: Risk sentiment soured ahead of Trump’s press conference (Brent, USD/RUB)

Oil finishes this month with significant gains. Brent is up by 39% whereas WTI has added record 76%. However today, oil is trading notably lower, putting its previous rally on pause. A number of negative factors continue to weight on the market. In May, the ruble was the best performing currency among emerging market segment. On Friday, it continues to test the level of 70 against the US dollar.
Global market sentiment has deteriorated today as inventors have finally realized the risk of the escalating tensions between the US and China. Now, traders are waiting for the US response to China’s actions. Today, in the hours of New York session, Donald Trump is expected to give a press conference where he should unveil his response to China’s new law on national security in Hong Kong.
Brent oil futures for July will expire on Friday. The most actively traded contract for August lost more than 2% in the mid-session. Brent quotes went below 35 US dollars per barrel. The nearest WI futures were also trading in the red. The American crude settled at 32 dollars 50 cents per barrel.
Official data on oil inventories published yesterday put additional pressure on oil prices. The report showed a significant weekly rise in US crude stockpiles. This indicates a slow recovery of oil demand even despite the increase in economic activity after the gradual easing of quarantine measures.
Besides, markets are concerned about whether the current OPEC+ agreement on output cuts will be extended in June. Saudi Arabia and other major oil producers consider extending the deal until the end of this year. However, Russia still has not confirmed its participation.
Meanwhile, it is very likely that the OPEC+ members will agree to further cut the production given the current situation in the energy market. This decision may not have a positive effect on the quotes in the short term. However, it may give some optimism to the markets as long as the fuel demand recovers.
Despite a slight decline, oil still maintains the bullish momentum.
Since the beginning of the day, the ruble has lost more than 20 kopecks against major currencies.Thus, it retreated by 0.10% against the US dollar. Nevertheless, the Russian currency is still holding firmly at comfortable levels and is trading at 70 rubles 50 kopecks per US dollar.
On the one hand, the negative oil dynamics may trigger the sales of the ruble. Yet, the strengthening of some emerging market currencies may support the ruble’s growth. Amid such background, the ruble is likely to stay at the current levels unless the situation in the energy market deteriorates. In this case, the US dollar may attempt to win back its early losses and advance to the mark of 71 against the ruble.
In the next two weeks, the ruble’s trajectory will depend on whether the OPEC+ extends the deal on output cuts. If the current supply cuts remain in place, the ruble will have a strong basis for further recovery.

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