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01.04.2020: USD/RUB to climb to 80 (Brent, USD/RUB)

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Oil is trading in the red after finishing its worst quarter in the past few years. Today, oil market received another blow. The energy demand is shrinking due to the coronavirus impact. In addition, global oil supply has considerably increased as OPEC+ deal on supply curbs stops functioning since April 1.
If no further agreement is reached between major oil producers, crude prices will continue to slump. International Brent oil futures are down by 4% compared to yesterday's session and are now trading just above 25 US dollars per barrel. WTI crude is also losing ground but at a slower pace. American crude has settled at 20 US dollars 27 cents a barrel.
Markets participants expect the government to intervene. The Russian authorities have lowered the export price for oil to 52 dollars per ton. In March, the price was almost 67 dollars. The market sentiment was slightly improved after Russia and the US made an attempt to discuss the current situation with oil prices. On Tuesday, the first round of talks between energy officials of both countries took place. It was agreed to continue negotiations.
The US is expected to force Saudi Arabia and Russia to resume negotiations and come to an agreement. US shale oil producers are currently suffering big losses. However, no drastic measures have been taken so far. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia promised to slash oil prices and ramp up its oil production starting from April 1.
The failure to reach an agreement within OPEC+ coalition put big pressure on the ruble. The Russian currency opened the day with losses. The dollar/ruble pair gained 0.5% in the early trade. At some point, the US dollar advanced to 79 but failed to hold above this level, at least for now. Yesterday, the ruble performed better than expected. However, amid weak oil market and overall negative sentiment, the dollar/ruble pair is likely to surge to the level of 80.
Russia’s Central Bank has stepped in to help support the national currency amid collapse in oil prices. The regulator sells around 13.3 billion rubles a day under the budget rule. On Tuesday, the ruble gained more than 1%, while the federal loan bonds yield hit 3-week low.
On Wednesday, market participants expect the ADP report on the state of the US labour market. In case of the downbeat economic data, the US dollar may strengthen as a safe-haven asset. In this scenario, the dollar/ruble pair could settle far above the level of 80.

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