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Rubles2

Rubles

          by Larry Levin Right now you need a lot of rubles to buy most things, except of course for a barrel of crude. Overnight, the ruble sank as much as 19 percent to 80.10, before trading at 78 at 3:14 p.m. in Moscow. That was the biggest drop since 1998, the year Russia defaulted on its local debt. The currency erased a gain of 11 percent as investors shrugged off a surprise Bank of Russia decision to take its key interest rate to 17 percent from 10.5 percent. Ten-year government-bond yields jumped 317 basis points to a record 16.4 percent. According to Bloomberg. Russian central bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina may resort to capital controls as she runs out of options to revive a currency wrecked by the oil-price slump and international sanctions, money managers from Schroder Investment Management Ltd. to Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB said. The ruble has plummeted 58 percent this year even after an 11.5 percentage-point increase in rates and interventions exceeding $80 billion. So what’s ahead? The markets started off yesterday by racing higher early on in the trading session, but had a huge swing to the downside. The markets filled the gap from the open, and continued to extend lower. Then the SX crossed over the 50 day moving average, and that trigger more selling. The reversal from the highs and a close below the 50 day moving average shows that the sellers were in control. I suspect we open lower again today. The question is will we gap and go, or rally back on turn around Tuesday? All of this is happening ahead of the FOMC meeting announcement on Wednesday. There is a lot of activity, volatility, and volume flowing in now. Maybe the big money knows something, or this is just pure liquidation of positions, but the markets are telling us something for now. Maybe it’s don’t hold rubles. … [Read More...]

StockMarketeuro

Stocks Remain Under Pressure as Oil Continues to Drop

The U.S. equity markets are lower in early action, with oil's persistent drop continuing to weigh on sentiment as the Street grapples with potential ripple effects outside of the energy sector. Moreover, volatility elevated as Russia boosted its benchmark interest rate by over 600 basis points to 17.0% in an attempt to stabilize the falling ruble but the action is failing to stem the currency's sell-off. Treasuries are trading noticeably higher on the heightened volatility, while a read on domestic housing construction missed expectations, ahead of a preliminary look at U.S. manufacturing activity after the opening bell. In equity news, VeriFone Systems topped the Street's quarterly expectations but offered disappointing guidance, while Dow members 3M Co and Boeing Co both raised their dividends, with the latter also boosting its share repurchase program. Gold is higher, while the U.S. dollar is trading lower. Overseas, Asian stocks finished mostly lower amid the oil concerns and as a read on Chinese manufacturing activity contracted, while the Russian volatility is overshadowing some upbeat eurozone economic reports and European equities are trading mostly lower. As of 8:52 a.m. ET, the March S&P 500 Index future is 5 points below fair value, the DJIA is 10 points south of fair value, and Nasdaq 100 Index is 12 points below fair value. WTI crude oil is dropping $1.94 to $53.97 per barrel and Brent crude oil is falling $2.16 to $59.05 per barrel, while the Bloomberg gold spot price is trading $15.81 higher at $1,209.04 per ounce. Elsewhere, the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—is down 0.7% to 87.88. VeriFone Systems Inc. (PAY $33) reported fiscal 4Q earnings-per-share (EPS) ex-items of $0.44, above the $0.41 consensus estimate of analysts surveyed by FactSet, as revenues rose 14.0% year-over-year (y/y) to $491 million, exceeding the $483 million that the Street had projected. However, the electronic payment … [Read More...]

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