Risk appetite is lower ahead of this week’s policy meetings by key central banks. US stocks are falling in the wake of the controversy over Trump’s executive order restricting entry to the US for nationals of several Muslim countries. S&P 500 is down 0.8% today after declining 0.1% on Friday. EuroStoxx 600 is 0.7% lower. Nikkei 225 is down 0.5%, China’s CSI 300 up 0.4%. Gold prices are up 0.2% today after a 0.3% increase on Friday. In this week’s meetings of BoJ (tomorrow), Fed (on Wednesday), BoE (on Thursday) and the CBR (on Friday) key policy rates are widely expected to be kept on hold. Market focus will be on updated macro forecasts and implications for policy outlook. The dollar index is up 0.4% today. Yields on 10-year UST are marginally lower at 2.48%.
Oil prices are lower on higher drilling activity in the US. The number of active rotary rigs in the US rose a further 15 over the previous week to 566. Crude oil inventories are projected to have increased by 2.8 mn bbl in the previous week. Oil prices (Brent) are 0.2% lower at $55.4/bbl.
Russia and CIS area developments and market colour
Easing of US sanctions against Russia were not among the subjects of Saturday’s phone conversation between the two countries’ presidents. Talks reportedly focused on conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine. Trump downplayed expectations for a breakthrough on sanctions during his press conference late on Friday, after his advisor said that easing of sanctions were among the issues under consideration. The Kremlin flagged the possibility that Trump and Putin may meet ahead of the new G20 summit in July.
President Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan today announced a new phase of economic reform, to be detailed tomorrow. Last week, the president in a TV address announced reforms of the country’s political system, with some of presidential powers due to be transferred to the government and parliament.
The rouble is 0.4% weaker. RUBUSD is slightly lower as overenthusiasm about US-Russia relationship faded. OFZ yields are 5-8 bps wider today after tightening 10-15 bps on Friday. Russia’s and Kazakhstan’s Eurobond yields are 2-3 and 10 bps wider today, respectively. Ukraine sovereign yields are 10-15 bps wider today.
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