17 April. Investors are hiding and waiting for the announcement of new sanctions against Russia because of the support of the current Syrian President Bashar Assad.
On the eve of the Russian currency continued the course taken last week to reduce. However, this time the decline was moderate. By 12:00 Moscow time, the Moscow Stock Exchange index fell to 2,163.8 points (by 0.59%), the dollar indicator of the RTS - to 1,095.3 points (by 0.83%). The dollar exchange rate against the ruble strengthened to 62.22 rubles. for the dollar (by 0.34%), the euro exchange rate - 76.9 rubles. (by 0.55%), futures for Brent crude fell to $ 71.46 a barrel (by 1.53%).
Moderate decline in stock indices to the ruble exchange rate is due to the fact that investors no longer see a serious threat from new sanctions. Especially since, as stated in The Washington Post, US President Donald Trump postponed the introduction of new sanctions against Russia. However, officially this information has not yet been confirmed.
"The most terrible thing for market participants is already behind: fears about possible expansion of sanctions on Russian public debt have died down - last week the US Treasury did not support this proposal. Secondly, the attacks on Syria were insignificant from the point of view of the consequences for the geopolitical situation, "explained the analyst" Opening Broker "Andrei Kochetkov.
As noted by the chief economist of Alfa-Bank Natalia Orlova, the stock and currency markets are now generally calm, but their turnover is small. According to the expert, investors have taken a wait-and-see attitude and want to assess what effect the new sanctions will have. "If the sanctions are of a nominal nature, then the reaction of investors will be insignificant. We should also expect that investors will want to invest in the weakened Russian market and the ruble exchange rate and the quotes of Russian companies may grow. However, we should not exclude a negative scenario in the case of extensive sanctions, "- said Natalia Orlova.
Alexander Losev, General Director of the Sputnik-Capital Management Company, believes that the dynamics of the Russian market has already begun to improve - the ruble rate slowed down compared with Friday. "New sanctions because of Russia's support for the Bashar Assad regime will not affect the stock and currency market in any way, as the US measures this time will be point-blank, and only a limited number of companies cooperating with Syria will be affected," he explained.
As noted by Alexander Kochetkov, in the near future the ruble will strengthen in connection with the reduction of the sanctions threat and high prices for Brent crude oil. "Brent crude oil prices are at record highs, and next week Russian companies will pay taxes totaling approximately 1.2 trillion rubles. Taking into account these factors, the ruble may strengthen by the end of April at the level of 60 rubles. for the US dollar and 75 rubles. for the euro, "the expert believes.
True, the expert noted, such dynamics are possible only in the absence of escalation of geopolitical tensions. "International politics are unpredictable. We do not know what the British and US authorities have in mind, "Alexander Kochetkov added.
On the night of April 13-14, the United States, France and the United Kingdom rocketed Syrian territory, firing more than 100 cruise missiles. President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin after the shelling said that such actions of the West in Syria "will lead to imminent chaos in international relations." At the initiative of Russia, an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council was convened, but the Security Council rejected a draft resolution that condemned the missile strike and demanded the cessation of aggression.
Also, over the weekend it became known that US Ambassador John Huntsman sent a letter to the Russian Foreign Ministry in which he announced the intention of the US authorities to introduce new measures against Russia "for the support" of Syrian President-in-Office Bashar Assad.