The dollar’s rally against other
major world currencies last March, accompanied by a
moderate decline in world oil market prices, revived
market participants’ interest in dollar-denominated
assets. A readjustment of price dynamics typical of the
past few months was registered in some segments of the
Russian financial market in March.
In the early days of March, the
dollar’s rally on the world’s currency market caused a
significant rise in its nominal rate against the ruble.
In the third week of the month, however, the dollar
slipped back to the level registered at the beginning of
the month and steadied. Over the month, the dollar/ruble
rate in STS "today" trades fell 0.02% and in afternoon
session for "tomorrow" trades 0.04%. The official
dollar/ruble rate was 28.49 on March 31 against 28.52 on
February 29. SELT dollar trade turnovers on MICEX
contracted to $670 million a day in March from $876
million in February.
Yields changed both ways on the
GKO-OFZ government bond market in March. GKO yields fell
by 0.3 percentage points that month and OFZ-PD yields
were down by 0.9 percentage points, while OFZ-AD yields
gained 0.3 points. GKO-OFZ secondary market turnovers
expanded considerably in March, amounting 2,506 million
rubles a day against 1,499 million rubles a day in
February. Depreciation income federal loan bonds (OFZ-AD)
dominated market turnovers.
Share prices continued to rise in
March. By the end of the month, the RTS index gained 83
points and MICEX index 54 points. The bond market also
demonstrated a price uptrend and the activity of
corporate security market operators continued to rise.
The most significant rise in activity was registered in
RTS, where average daily turnovers of trade in corporate
securities expanded more than 15% month on month.
There was a noticeable
contraction in the ruble liquidity at commercial banks
in March. The balances of commercial banks’
correspondent accounts with the Bank of Russia changed
between 152 billion rubles and 232 billion rubles during
the month and the average monthly balances declined to
189.2 billion rubles from 234.5 billion rubles in
February. This, along with the renewed interest of
market participants in foreign currency assets, led to a
rise in interbank loan interest rates. The average
weighted MIACR on overnight ruble loans rose to 1.8% p.
a. in March against 1.2% in February.