On Wednesday, February 1, the Russian currency shows mixed dynamics on the Moscow Exchange.

During the opening of trading, the dollar rose by 0.36% - to 70.07 rubles, and the euro - by 0.2%, to 76.1 rubles.

At the same time, the yuan depreciated by about 0.01% to 10.35 rubles.

In the coming month, the dynamics of the national currency will depend on several factors at once, experts say.

So, for example, according to Andrei Maslov, an analyst at FG Finam, investors will continue to closely monitor developments in the global economy.

“The ruble is now supported by the main macroeconomic trends.

First, we see the opening of China after the lifting of a number of quarantine measures.

Secondly, today there is some weakening of the dollar on the international market due to expectations of a recession in the United States, ”the source said.

China's GDP growth will accelerate to 5.2% in 2023 from 3% in 2022, according to the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) forecast, as Beijing eases epidemic restrictions.

As a result, the Asian republic may increase purchases of Russian goods, especially energy resources, which should have a positive impact on the income of exporters and the Russian economy as a whole, experts interviewed by RT are sure.

At the same time, US GDP growth in 2023, on the contrary, will slow down to 1.4% from last year's 2%, the IMF said.

Moreover, the current policy of raising interest rates in the United States to fight inflation could push the country into recession, do not exclude the fund's analysts.

Against this background, the dollar index (DXY) against a basket of other reserve currencies has been steadily declining for several months now.

Moreover, at the end of January, the indicator at some point fell to 101.5 points - the lowest level since May 2022.

  • Gettyimages.ru

However, the decisive role for the ruble in the near future will be played by the actions of the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Russia within the framework of the budget rule.

Mikhail Shulgin, head of the global research department at Otkritie Investments, shared this opinion in a conversation with RT.

“Since January 13, the Central Bank, by order of the Ministry of Finance, has been selling yuan daily in the equivalent of 3.2 billion rubles.

Such operations will continue until February 6, after which the volume of sales of the Chinese currency may increase.

This, perhaps, will become a key factor in supporting the ruble, ”the specialist suggested.  

Recall that the authorities use the budget rule to protect the economy and the ruble from fluctuations in oil prices.

If the cost of raw materials rises above the so-called cut-off price (now it is about $62-63 per barrel), then the state directs oil and gas super profits (money received from the sale of oil is more expensive than the cut-off price) not for current budget spending, but for the purchase of foreign currency to the Fund of the National welfare (NWF).

Thus, in the event of an increase in energy prices, the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank acquire more foreign currency for the NWF and thereby put artificial pressure on the ruble.

Meanwhile, when oil becomes cheaper and its value falls below the cut-off price, the authorities begin to sell foreign currency.

As a result, the demand for foreign banknotes is declining, and the ruble should be strengthening.

Today, Russian oil of the Urals brand is sold cheaper than the cut-off price.

Thus, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Finance, in mid-January the cost of raw materials was about $46.82 per barrel.

As a result, according to experts of the department, in the first month of 2023, the country's budget received less than 54.5 billion rubles in oil and gas revenues.

“There is a possibility that in February the lost oil and gas revenues may be higher.

In this case, the volume of daily sales of yuan may increase from the current 3.2 billion rubles to 4 billion, which will provide additional support to the national currency,” added Mikhail Shulgin.

Trading offset

According to experts, some pressure on the ruble will be exerted by the alignment of the imbalance between supply and demand in the Russian foreign exchange market.

According to the calculations of the Central Bank, in 2022 the current account surplus of Russia's balance of payments (the difference between the inflow of foreign currency from abroad and its outflow outside the country) almost doubled compared to 2021 and reached $227 billion for the first time. In recent months, this figure has begun to decline.

  • RIA News

  • © Mikhail Voskresensky

It should be noted that last year Russia was able to significantly increase exports, primarily due to increased energy prices.

As a result, dollars, euros and yuan received from the sale of goods abroad entered the country in significant volumes.

Meanwhile, the interest of companies in foreign banknotes has sharply weakened against the backdrop of sanctions risks and falling imports.

However, according to the Central Bank, already in the second half of 2022, import volumes began to recover.

Exports, in turn, began to gradually sag in value terms.

“Sanction restrictions on the supply of goods from Russia and a geopolitical discount in Russian oil prices reduce exporters' foreign exchange earnings even at fairly high price levels in the raw materials market.

Together with the ongoing revival of imports, this shifts the balance of demand for foreign currency and its supply towards a lower ruble exchange rate, ”Dmitry Babin, an expert on the BCS World of Investments stock market, explained in a conversation with RT.

Recall that back in 2022, after the start of a military special operation in Ukraine, Western countries imposed a number of economic sanctions against Moscow and began to refuse to purchase Russian oil one by one.

Moreover, since December 5, the European Union, the G7 states and Australia have banned their companies from insuring and transporting raw materials from the Russian Federation by sea to other regions of the world at a price higher than $60 per barrel.

Moreover, from February 5, the same restrictions should apply to petroleum products.

Russia has banned its companies from selling energy resources at the price ceiling and is currently redirecting the supply of raw materials to those countries that have not joined Western restrictions.

Although the volume of exports of raw materials continues to grow, their value is declining, as Moscow is now offering large discounts on its products to attract new buyers.

In the future, according to the forecasts of the authorities, the size of the discount will have to decrease.

At the same time, for now, cash receipts from exports will continue to decline, experts are sure.

“Therefore, the first reaction to the embargo and the price ceiling for petroleum products from February 5 will be negative for the ruble.

However, the objective consequences of these restrictions can only be assessed a few months after the start of the sanctions,” Mikhail Shulgin believes.

However, according to an IMF study, Russian exports will not be seriously affected by Western restrictions.

Against this background, experts interviewed by RT do not expect a serious weakening of the ruble.

According to Dmitry Babin's forecast, in February the dollar exchange rate may remain in the range of 70-73 rubles, the euro exchange rate - around 76-79 rubles, and the yuan exchange rate - within the limits of 10.35-10.8 rubles.

Mikhail Shulgin adheres to a similar assessment.

The expert did not rule out that at some point the American currency could rise in price to 75 rubles, but by the end of the month its value would drop to 65-70 rubles.

“We estimate the range of fluctuations in the yuan exchange rate between 10 and 11 rubles per unit of Chinese currency.

The peak may be formed around the mark of 10.8 rubles, and closer to the beginning of spring, quotes may drop closer to 10 rubles, ”concluded Shulgin.