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USD/RUB likely to trade sideways at 67.00 by end of 2019, says Commerzbank

The USD/RUB currency pair is expected to trade sideways at 67.00 by the end of next year, according to the latest research report from Commerzbank.

The Russian central bank hiked rates by 25bps on Friday, in line with expectations. While the median consensus had been for no change, the market was heavily split with neither side having a strong conviction - hence, the final outcome did not affect the rubble.

What was slightly surprising from the new projections and statement is that CBR maintained a 5.0-5.5 percent inflation forecast for end-2019 and, in fact, see upside risk to this forecast. This is despite the oil price no longer trending up, as had been the case a quarter ago, but having fallen considerably since October.

"Our own inflation forecast for end-2019 is a substantially weaker 2.8 percent - and from this lower level, one can reasonably see upside risk in the event that the US implement unexpectedly harsh sanctions next year," the report added.

Despite the hawkish rhetoric and CBR saying that it may need to hike again depending on inflation performance relative to forecast, our base-case is that no further rate hike will be needed in this cycle.

"We see inflation moderating noticeably through H2 2019. Since Russia's real interest rate would rise as a result, the RUB is likely to hold well against the USD," Commerzbank further commented.

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January 18 15:00 UTC Released

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