Russia » Economics
Author`s name Michael Simpson

Euro Increasing Because of Bad News

Investors waiting - will Platon Lebedev be put on trial?
The triumph of the American currency has developed into "front line leveling" because of the mass decline of the US stock indices. As it turned out, in spite of all expectations on the market the success of the USA was rather fixed.   

On July 21, Dow Jones dropped 91.46 points (-1%), with the NYSE closing at 9096.69. The Nasdaq dropped 27.02 points (-1.58%) to 1681.48. The S&P index lowered by 14.59 points (-1.5%) to 978.73. The earnings yield of 30-year American state bonds made up 5.078% (increased by 0.167 as compared with Friday's close). The collapse of the American market produced an immediate effect on other markets, they declined also. The FTSE 100 index on the London stock exchange reduced by 28.90 points (-0.71%) and closed at the level of 4044.30. The Xetra DAX index on the Frankfurt stock exchange dropped by 79.71 points (-2.37%) and made up 3287.00 by the closure time. The CAC 40 index on Bourse de Paris reduced by 48.15 points (-1.54%) and made up 3081.06 by the closure time.

The decline on the stocks caused a number of troubles for the greenback. On July 21 the euro-to-dollar rate reached the level of $1.1352 per euro at the American session. Analysts say that under these conditions of rather low activity on the Forex market, the correlation between the changes in currency rates and the attitudes on the US stock market is rather high, Forexite reports.

However, the leading indicators in the USA haven't dropped in June and increased +0.1% (the forecast estimated +0.1%; the previous showing was +1.0%). Experts say that the positive showing of the index is registered within three months running. This proves that the possibility of gradual recovery of the US economy is very probable in the second half of 2003. At that, experts emphasize that although the index showing agrees with the previous forecasts of economists, this wasn't a positive support to the dollar.

What is more, the news immediately produced an effect in Russia. According to the results of yesterday's special euro session, the weighted average euro rate made up 34.40 rubles per euro. The showing is 15 kopecks higher than the official euro rate announced by the RF Central Bank for July 22. As for the dollar rate, it has been on the decline with respect to the Russian ruble for a week already. Within this period the American currency lost 23 kopecks. Yesterday, the dollar lost 6 kopecks to reach 30.30 rubles per dollar. At that the Russian Federation Central Bank doesn't interfere into the trades.

Analysts say that the euro strengthening with respect to the ruble is explained with consolidation of euro positions on the international exchanges. On July 22, the ratio between the euro and the dollar made up 1 euro for $1.1340 on the international markets, while the day before one euro cost not more than $1.1280.

Experts say that the euro increase with respect to the ruble may be also explained with purely domestic reasons. Former first deputy chairman of the RF Central Bank and First Vice-president of the Association of Regional Banks Alexander Khandruyev says the Central Bank officially quotes the ruble with respect to the dollar, while it is cross quotation with respect to the euro. This is the reason why slight deviations occur. Alexander Khandruyev says as far as the euro turnover is not really high, there are more accidental factors that influence its fluctuations. 

On the whole, analysts say that the tension connected with the Yukos scandal is still dominating on the market. The main tendency changed from reduction to expectations of investors for information that may further change relations between oligarchs and the authority. Analysts don't recommend making decisions on sale or purchase of shares of currency this week. Majority of analysts don't risk making forecasts, as the market is closely related to politics and which consequently makes it unpredictable. Experts suppose that the situation may change on July 23, when the court will consider the case of Platon Lebedev, the large shareholder of Yukos and the president of Menatep Bank.

For the time being, analysts forecast a lingering correction against the background of last week's global collapse of the stock market. Investors are waiting for more information. The lull on the stock market absolutely correlates with the peace on the currency market.

Experts forecast that the dollar will keep its positions with respect to the ruble this week or will slightly drop to the level of 30.30 rubles per dollar. However, if the court passes a negative decision on Platon Lebedev, the dollar may strengthen and make up about 30.50-30.60 rubles per dollar. If the court passes a positive decision, the ruble will go up to the level of 30 rubles per dollar.