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Ruble flexes its muscle after Moody’s lifts Russia’s rating to investment grade

By ethan / February 11, 2019

The Russian ruble has been gaining ground on the US dollar and the euro after global credit rating agency Moody’s upgraded Russia’s sovereign rating to investment grade with a stable outlook.

The ruble was trading at 65.85 against the greenback at 07:50 GMT, rising by 0.17 percent on Monday and marking a nearly three-percent gain on the year.

The Russian currency is trading 0.18 percent higher against the euro at 74.34, representing a 3.8 percent growth since January 1.

Russian stock indices opened higher with the dollar-denominated RTS up 0.7 percent to 1,207.5 points, while the ruble-based MOEX grew by 0.4 percent to 2,513.3 points.

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Late on Friday, Moody’s announced the upgrade of Russia’s economy from Ba1 to Baa3, acknowledging the “positive impact” of government policies that managed to strengthen the country’s already robust public finances and may potentially help Moscow withstand possible US sanctions.

The agency noted that Washington is highly likely to introduce further anti-Russian sanctions in the coming months. The new measures by the White House could “be contained without material damage to the country’s credit profile,” Moody’s said.

“The sovereign’s vulnerability to such shocks has indeed materially diminished, and no longer constrains the rating to sub-investment grade,” the report said.

Last year, S&P Global Ratings upgraded the nation from junk level, bringing it in line with Fitch Ratings.

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