Russian stocks, unlike the ruble, are looking strong

The Russian stock market yesterday managed to rise by 0.4% on the MosBirch Index, which looks weak given the strong buying of US stocks. The ruble indicator never broke through the 3500 points mark, which would have formed the prerequisites for continued growth.

VTB shares looked better than the market. Resistance on Sber is the mark of 292 rubles, where we recommend to at least partially close longs. Most likely, the market will still give an opportunity to buy securities a little cheaper. We excluded VTB from the analysis because we do not recommend buying it in the medium and long term, and active speculators know what to do with it themselves.

Today, US futures are down by a quarter of a percent, and oil is also down by a percent, which promises a negative opening of the Russian market. But while there are no reasons for large-scale sell-offs, Russian stocks are generally looking quite strong.

Unfortunately, this cannot be said about the ruble. Yesterday the pair finished the day above the border of the sideways corridor 73-74.7, in which it had been trading since December last year. Today at the morning trading the decline continues and at the moment of writing this text the dollar is already 75.2 rubles. The technical resistance for the pair is the area of 76, where the Russian currency should stop or at least slow down.

There are several reasons for the sharp weakening of the ruble. First of all, it is the increased risks of imposing tough sanctions. Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin is considering the possibility of disconnecting Russia from the SWIFT system. If earlier this threat was considered as hypothetical, now the probability of such a measure is growing.

The Turkish lira collapsed yesterday on the news of the resignation of the head of the Central Bank of Turkey. At the moment the lira's fall against the dollar exceeded 15%. Naturally, this had a negative impact on the ruble exchange rate.

Finally, after unsuccessful testing of 73, the dollar-ruble pair by technique should have gone to test the upper boundary of the channel, which was done. The "ceiling" did not resist.

However, a weak ruble will support exporters' shares, among which ferrous metallurgists are the most interesting. We continue to look with moderate optimism at Nornickel, which is bouncing off the support of 22,000 for the second time. Gold does not succumb to sell-offs, which, given the falling ruble, will support shares of gold miners.

We would very much like to short the oil sector, especially the state-owned one, which may be hit first of all by the subsequent sanctions. But this should be done with great caution, as both Lukoil and Rosneft may start buying back their shares at any moment, and Rosneft is also fundamentally very undervalued.

For oil, by the way, we should not rule out another sharp unreasonable fall, as we saw last Thursday. Among other things, real producers may strengthen hedging of future supplies.

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