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06.07.2020: USD/RUB to advance to 72 amid fears of new US sanctions (Brent, USD/RUB)

Brent and WTI futures with the nearest expiration date have reached their key levels of resistance. Today, oil prices continue to rebound. The worsening coronavirus situation in the US puts energy market under great pressure.
Oil quotes have been rising since late April and early May on hopes that the global economy is on its way to recovery. Besides, significant production cuts implemented by major oil producers also supported the market. In june, Saudi Arabia reduced its oil exports by 979 thousand barrels per day compared to those in May. Even Iraq has managed to comply with the agreed cuts and decreased its oil exports, including from Kurdistan region, by 425 thousand barrels.
What is more, the better-than-expected data on labour market from the US encouraged market participants.
As a result, both oil benchmarks have approached their key resistance levels. In the mid-session on Monday, Brent was trading above 43 dollars 46 cents per barrel, while WTI edged higher to 40 dollars 77 cents a barrel.
The bulls failed to break through this resistance level in mid-June. In the near future, the oil market is likely to face a slight downward correction. The number of new coronavirus infections in the US is rapidly rising and is reaching record highs every day. If the rapid surge continues, the US authorities will have to impose new economic and social restrictive measures.
Currently, the number of infected people is approaching 12 million globally. The news about successful testing of the new vaccine against coronavirus gives hope to investors. Yet, it is clear that there is a long way ahead to fight the pandemic. Besides, in July, traders will be looking ahead to see the results of the second quarter of the year which was rather tough for the economy.
This week, another topic to draw investors’ attention will be the OPEC+ preparation for a new round of talks on production cuts.
As for the Russian ruble, it seems to ignore the growth in oil prices and overall optimistic sentiment. Today, the ruble is weighed down by worries about new US sanctions against Russia. The American media is actively speculating that Russia had offered reward to Taliban militants for fighting against US soldiers. So, in the day trade, the ruble closely approached the level of 72 against the US dollar.
In the short term, high volatility on the Russian foreign exchange will continue, as well as the pressure on the ruble. The bearish factors to slow the ruble’s growth include the spike in COVID-19 cases and rising tensions in trade relations between the US and China.
On Monday, the Russian Ministry of Finance will release the data on currency selling under the budget rule. It is expected that the volume of currency sales has decreased to at least 140 billion rubles. If this scenario is true, the ruble will have no chance of gaining ground.

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