US Investors Gaining Confidence in Russia’s Ruble

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For a second week in a row, US hedge funds have been optimistic about the Russian ruble. Recently, the Russian Central Bank raised the ruble exchange rate by over 2.5 percent.

A woman walks past a board showing currency exchange rates of the U.S. dollar and euro against the rouble in Moscow, Russia, January 20, 2016 - Sputnik International
Ruble Hits New Historic Low Since December 2014, Trading at 80 to Dollar
Hedge funds and large speculators have gone bullish on the ruble for two weeks already, according to data from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

As for January 26, long positions surpassed short positions by 2.064 contracts, the biggest spread since mid-November.

Against the previous week, short positions decreased by 597 contracts while long ones grew by 816.

For the first time in 2016, US investors turned confident about the ruble in mid-January. At the time, Juan Prada, a foreign-exchange strategist at Barclays Plc, said this was more likely "profit taking" after a huge drop in currency.

Sculpture of rouble sign in Novosibirsk - Sputnik International
Two Reasons Why Russia Will Take Advantage of Falling Ruble
"The ruble is highly correlated with oil, and if we see oil resuming its decline, we might probably see bearish sentiment regarding the ruble again," he was quoted as saying by Bloomberg.

Recently, the Russian Central Bank raised the ruble’s official rate against the US dollar and euro by more than two percent. Ruble was trading 75.17 to dollar and 81.9 to euro.

The Russian currency rose after oil prices rebounded last week. On January 29, Brent crude reached $35.99 a barrel. The central bank’s decision to keep the key interest rate at 11 percent also contributed to strengthening of the currency, according to RBK.

Since January 21 when ruble tumbled to a record low of 86/$1 the Russian currency has risen by 13 percent.

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