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03.07.2020: RUB to face downward pressure (Brent, USD/RUB)

03.07.2020: RUB to face downward pressure (Brent, USD/RUB)

Today, oil is going through downward correction. Currently, Brent crude is holding in the range between 40 and 44 US dollars per barrel. So far, Brent is unlikely to leave this range. The ruble has settled at 70 against the American currency which is facing strong resistance at this level. On Thursday, oil prices were supported by a number of economic factors. First, the data on labour market in the US was rather positive. What is more, the official report on oil inventories from the US Energy Information Administration showed a significant drop in crude stockpiles. Yet, despite the major decrease, the indicator is still holding at record highs. Market participants began to doubt that the fuel demand will recover quickly any time soon. Major global economies continue to fight against the pandemic. As the number of COVID-19 cases in the US is rapidly increasing every day, market sentiment is becoming more pessimistic. Brent oil futures for September edged lower by 1% in the day trade. Still, oil prices were holding firmly at comfortable levels.The North Sea grade was trading at 42 dollars 64 cents per barrel. WTI contract with the nearest expiration was displaying similar dynamics. The American crude settled at 40 US dollars a barrel. The rapid surge in coronavirus cases worldwide has dampened investors’ sentiment. Therefore, the risk appetite has decreased. Today, traders are paying close attention to comments from Russia’s energy minister Alexander Novak. He believes that global energy balance will be restored as soon as this month. This may signal that Russia is not going to extend its participation in output cuts deal. The conflict between the US and China is also in focus today. The escalation of tensions may trigger a correctional decline in the oil market. The US Senate unanimously approved legislation on Thursday that would penalize banks doing business with Chinese officials who implement a national security law in Hong Kong. On Thursday, the ruble returned to more comfortable levels against the US dollar. Today, the dollar/ruble pair is trading quietly near the mark of 70.50. The ruble is mostly following the dynamics of the emerging market currencies and oil prices. In the short term, a slight correction on oil is possible. If Brent approaches 43 dollar per barrel, this will help the ruble reach higher levels. The dollar/ruble pair is set to trade in the current price range till the end of the day as no important news is expected on Friday. Besides, it is a public holiday in the US. However, the rubble is still at risk of moving lower in the short term. The factors to weigh on the ruble include the rapid spread of the coronavirus disease, geopolitical tensions, and uncertainty around the US-China trade deal. With this in mind, the dollar/ruble pair may easily move above the level of 72.00. The ruble has entered the third quarter which is usually unfavourable for the Russian currency. However, this year the situation may be different. Amid the global lockdown, travels outside the country are restricted which means that the export of the ruble will be at its minimum this time.

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