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19.12.2014 09:18

Press Review: Ruble firms as government steps up verbal support

Ruble firms as government steps up verbal support

(Reuters) - Russia's ruble strengthened on Friday after Finance Minister Anton Siluanov confirmed his ministry had sold foreign currency and on expectations that exporters will step up dollar sales.

At 0815 GMT (03:15 a.m. EST), the ruble was around 2.7 percent stronger against the dollar at 59.85 RUBUTSTN=MCX and gained 2.7 percent to trade at 73.65 versus the euro EURRUBTN=MCX.

The ruble's recovery is in contrast to intense selling pressure earlier this week, when the ruble at one stage had fallen about 20 percent against the dollar on the day before rising again, threatening the relative financial stability on which President Vladimir Putin has built his popularity.



The Relentless Production of Shale Oil Is Breaking OPEC's Neck

The world's biggest oil companies faced ruin in the summer of 1931. Crude prices had plummeted. Wildcatters were selling oil from the bonanza East Texas field for a nickel a barrel, cheaper than a bowl of chili. On Aug. 17, Governor Ross Sterling declared a state of insurrection in four counties and sent 1,100 National Guard troops to shut down the fields and bring order to the market. A month later the Railroad Commission of Texas handed out strict production quotas.



Yellen's Inflation Lessons: Targets Matter, Oil Shocks Dissipate

Janet Yellen isn't likely to change monetary policy because of transitory influences on prices coming from abroad. She's also not inclined to tolerate a long period of above-target inflation as a way of making up for years of little change in living costs.

Those are among the insights the Fed chair offered investors at her press conference this week.

For Yellen, these issues are now critical. Inflation has been below the Fed's 2 percent target for 30 months and, with a 45 percent decline in oil prices this year, will remain below it for several more months. Fed officials are wary of inflation remaining too low because it can become a drag on growth.



Russia Forcing SNB Hand Drains Arsenal to Fight ECB StimulusJanet

The Swiss National Bank's resort to negative interest rates leaves President Thomas Jordan wielding a weaker hand when the European Central Bank ramps up stimulus.

Swiss central bank officials are now bracing for a month of currency speculation as the Russian crisis simmers on and a potential ECB quantitative easing decision on Jan. 22 threatens further pressure on the franc. While the SNB can toughen its response, any further action will probably lack the shock factor unleashed with yesterday's deployment of a charge on deposits.


Market Focus

  • The eurozone started the third quarter on a solid footing, according to PMI survey data
  • Earnings Season in U.S.: Major Reports of the Week
  • German private sector output growth slowed for the second month running in July
  • ECB's Mersch says as conditions normalise, it is unlikely that uncoventional policies will remain necessary
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