Hedge funds and other speculative investors in the US are looking at the ruble with the greatest optimism since the beginning of 2013, according to the Commission futures trading USA (CFTC). The net long position of speculators (the difference between the number of long and short positions in futures on the exchange rate) for the week from 8th to 14th of June has increased by almost 50%, to 6227 contracts (compared to 4178 a week earlier).
This year the ruble is a favorite among investors among the currencies of developing countries: since the beginning of the year it appreciated by 14.7% (data from Bloomberg 13:50 GMT on Monday), second among the currencies of emerging markets, only the Brazilian real. Today during trading on the Moscow stock exchange rate of the dollar against the ruble fell to 63,98 RUB/$1. In January, the dollar reached a record 86 RUB
Net position of hedge funds at the level of 6227 contracts — the highest since February 26, 2013, when the net rate of the ruble amounted to 6703 of the contract. The number of long speculative positions on the ruble in the week ended 14 June (data at Tuesday’s come out in the night from Friday to Saturday) jumped 80%, to 14 thousand 538 — the maximum since August 2011.
Help the ruble strengthening in oil prices, which increased almost two times from the January lows (Brent is now trading slightly above $50 per barrel), and the revival of the Russian economy. In January—may the GDP decline amounted to “less than 1% in annual terms in the third quarter the Ministry expects the transition to a positive value, said in an interview last week, economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev. The baseline forecast assumes the average annual ruble exchange rate in 2016 at the level of 67-68 rubles per dollar, but under the current market conditions, “the exchange rate will be a little harder,” said Ulyukayev.
The dependence of the ruble on the price of oil has decreased in recent months, said Finance Minister Anton Siluanov in early June. “Now there is no hard direct correlation between oil and exchange rate,” he said June 8. According to the Bloomberg terminal, the 30-day correlation between Brent oil price and the ruble exchange rate as of Monday 20 June is 0.57 (the unit would mean that the assets are perfectly correlated), whereas in January-February, steadily exceed 0.8; in March reached 0,86.