A weak rouble has kept the Russian stock market from collapse


Moscow. January 27. January is nearing completion, you can start totals. Month, it seems, is extremely unfavorable for investors all over the world – such a strong fall of stock markets was not a long time. Pressure was almost all groups of assets that carry risk: commodities, stock markets of almost all countries, and currencies of countries whose monetary policy responds flexibly to changes of the world situation.

For Russia (and the stock market and the ruble) January turned into a very strong pressure (of course, the first violin was played by oil for the month decreased c $37 to $31,5 per barrel for Brent oil). If the ruble is among the outsiders of the month among many significant world currencies, the Russian stock market is retreating very, very moderate stocks of many countries, according to preliminary data of January (closing January 26), fall stronger.

So, the ruble loses in January to the dollar of about 7-8%. A little more substantial loss (about 10%), Belarusian rouble and Kazakhstan tenge. It may well be, however, that these two currencies belonging to countries that are closely integrated with Russia, just haven’t had time to clear the slight improvement in sentiment, which occurred in the evening on January 26 – so the breaking of these currencies, with the ruble can be and is quite small.

But it is clear that these three currencies, including the ruble – the outsiders. Also noticeable (6-6,5%) decline to US dollar in January, Mexican and Argentine peso, Polish zloty, South African Rand. The vast majority of other currencies also loses to the dollar – but not too much. So, the Chinese yuan has declined 1.4 percent and the Euro (together with the family of currencies, gravitating to the Euro), or about 1%, according to calculations made by “Interfax-CEA”. Leader January in the dynamics of currency is the Japanese yen, the currency managed to gain against the dollar of about 1.5-2%.

In order to compare the dynamics of the global stock markets, we use the family of MSCI indexes. So, MSCI Russia is incomplete for January decreased by 10.5% – frustrating! But the MSCI Bric index fell significantly more – 13.9%: this was due to a significant reduction of the respective indices of Brazil (15.4%) and China (15.7%). Japan, which we just above mentioned as the leader of monetary growth, “paid the price” for a strong currency, falling stock index MSCI Japan 10.8% – i.e., though not much, but still worse results than RF.

The MSCI USA index has lost 7.1 percent, slightly more than the fall of France (5,8%), but less than the fall in Germany (8.5 per cent). And in General, only a few indexes MSCI (typically representing a relatively small country) managed not to fall this January: So, the loss indexes of Thailand and Hungary was 0.9% and the index of Morocco even symbolically (by 0.2%) rose.

From all the above, it may be the fact that what we here in Russia, perceived as our own turbulence, is the turbulence of the global. It is important that the Russian monetary authorities chose a model of action, involving a high degree of sensitivity of the Russian financial performance to global trends, through the complete liberalization of the foreign exchange market. This, of course, annoying when exchange rate fluctuations amount to a few rubles a day. But it is perhaps some protection of investment (the rate quickly adjusts, and the financial instruments remain effective), hence relatively shallow drawdown of stock indices.

Thus, the competitiveness of the Russian financial system as a whole does not fall (or falls, but not too much), even in spite of the serious fall in global oil prices.

As far as the forecasts for the ruble – it is safe to say only that the fluctuations remain significant, experts “Interfax-CEA”.