Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Today's Major Market Move: Russian Ruble Weakens 10.6% Against US Dollar in May

With the turmoil surrounding Putin's election, a decline in crude oil prices and spillover from the resurgence of the European economic crisis, the Russian economy has suffered in May. Many Russian equity indexes are at new swing lows (going back to the beginning of January 2011) and the Ruble has declined over 10% against the US Dollar, making it the 4th worst performing currency this month.

Click here to go to the live table.
In terms of weakening currencies, the Ruble has plenty of company. As has been the pattern over the last 5 or so years, whenever the global economy hits a rough patch, there's a flight to US treasuries and a subsequent strengthening of the Dollar. Only two currencies have strengthened against the US Dollar in May, the Ugandan Shilling and ironically, the Japanese Yen. We say ironically because the one country that has (arguably) done more than any other country in an attempt to weaken its currency against the US Dollar sees the Yen strengthen when 99% of the rest of the world's currencies have weakened.

Going back to the Ruble, it is getting close to breaking out to new highs last seen at the beginning of 2012. Furthermore, the weakening currency is not having the beneficial effect on equities that we usually see. Here's a comparison chart of the Ruble vs. the Russian benchmark RTS Standard Index going back to January 2011:

Click here to go to the live chart.

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