FX volumes at MOEX halved in April as ruble gains gorund

abdelaziz Fathi

Currency trading at Moscow Exchange (MOEX) halted its upward route in April as monthly volumes nearly halved from a month earlier.

Moscow Exchange (MOEX)

Part of this decline in FX turnover could be attributed to a stronger Ruble. Russia’s currency surged to multi-year highs against the US dollar as the country managed to pay back creditors and avoid a default. Although the numbers mask some ugly truths for the Russian economy, but ruble has gone from an all-time low in March to the world’s best performing currency this year.

In particular, average daily volumes reached RUB 1.049 trillion ($16.75 billion) last month, down from RUB 1.95 trillion ($23.45 billion) in March, Moex said in a statement. Year-over-year, the ADV figure was also down from RUB 1.55 trillion in April 2021.

MOEX’s total FX market turnover also dropped to RUB 22 trillion ($350 billion) in March 2022, down from the RUB 34.2 trillion exchanged hands in April 2021. Compared with volumes from the prior month, this figure was down 50 percent when weighed against RUB 41.0 trillion  in March 2022.

The Moscow Exchange, Russia’s largest exchange group, has resumed publishing its monthly operational metrics  after a nearly one-month halt following the nation’s invasion of Ukraine.

MOEX reopened trading for certain stocks in late March after the bourse shutdown since February after the US and its Western allies unleashed a barrage of sanctions against Russia that crippled its economy and tanked the value of its national currency.

The drop in MOEX’s FX turnover is primarily caused by the fall in FX swaps, used mostly for liquidity management and hedging of foreign currency portfolios. In 2020, the foreign exchange swaps accounted for nearly 50 percent of the total FX market turnover, according to the BIS triennial survey.

Moscow Exchange’s derivatives are offering lines up swaps, FX swaps, cross-currency swaps, FX forwards and options with maturities from 3 days to 5 years.

Other business highlights show that Money Market turnover was RUB 60.4 trillion (April 2021: RUB 43 trillion). ADTV was RUB 2,874.7 billion (April 2021: RUB 1,954 billion). The CCP-cleared repo segment added 13.2% to reach RUB 27.8 trillion, including the GCC repo segment which increased more than twofold to RUB 14.5 trillion.

Turnover in precious metals (spot and swaps) was RUB 4.6 billion (April 2021: RUB 24.8 billion), of which RUB 4.4 billion (0.91 t) was gold and RUB 0.3 billion (3.7 t) was silver.

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