Goldman Sachs Just Slashed Its Forecast For The Ruble

Goldman Sachs has sharply cut its 2015 outlook for the ruble after revising its oil forecasts.

Goldman now expects the ruble to fall to 70.0 rubles per dollar over the next three months, down from its previous forecast for 46.2 rubles per dollar.

In twelve months, Goldman expects the ruble be at 60 against the dollar, down from its previous outlook for 49.6.

“We now expect Brent oil prices to fall further below forwards (and consensus expectations) to $US42 per barrel by Q2 2015 before gradually recovering to a medium-term equilibrium of $US70 per barrel in early 2016,”  writes Kamakshya Trivedi in the Goldman report. 

“Such a shift likely to affect EM currencies substantially,” including the Russian ruble.

“For commodity exporters [such as Russia], a weaker currency serves to absorb some of the pressure from the sharp decline in oil prices and reorient the economy towards non-commodity producing areas,” Kamakshya writes.

Earlier on Monday, we highlighted a recent note out from Goldman’s Jeff Currie, who cut his view on oil prices significantly, notably taking his 6-month West Texas Intermediate forecast to $US39 from $US75 a barrel and the 6-month view on Brent to $US43 from $US85. 

The ruble fell approximately 40% against the dollar over the course of 2014, a decline that has been primarily attributed to the declining price of oil.

The ruble is currently trading around 63 to the dollar.

The Russian economy is hanging on the edge of its first recession since 2009, following plunging oil prices and sanctions imposed by the West.

Additionally, Russia’s recent PMI survey suggests that “the probability of a deep recession in Russia in 2015 has increased,” according to Alexander Morozov, the chief economist of Russia, CIS, and the Baltics at HSBC.

Russian ruble dollarBloombergRussian ruble to US dollar, 1 year.

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