Sanctions risks are back on the agenda


Yesterday, the fixation on Russian shares continued, and in the evening the sales became aggressive after the unfriendly statements of the American President Joe Biden against the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. In particular, Biden promised to “punish” Russia for interfering in the elections last year, which, according to the American intelligence report, boiled down to discrediting the current American leader.

In addition, the United States yesterday announced the introduction of new restrictions on exports to Russia, but they will not affect big business.

So sanctions risks are on the agenda again.

Against this background, the Moscow Exchange Index lost 2.3% of capitalization during the main trading, but still managed to hold the important mark of 3500 points, which gives hope for a rebound.

A meeting of the US Federal Reserve took place yesterday. The regulator expectedly left the rate unchanged, but pleased that all 18 FRS members predict that the rate will remain at the current level this year. Only four of them are expecting a rate hike in 2022.

At the same time, the forecast for US GDP growth in the current year was raised to 6.5% from 4.2% in December estimates.

This caused a good rise in the previously declining US indices, as a result of which the S&P 500 renewed its all-time highs.

This morning, American futures are trading in a weak plus, oil costs $ 67.5 per barrel, holding the first support at $ 67, precious metals are growing.

We are waiting for the opening of the Russian market with growth, but we should not count on strong dynamics, since for some time the market will be dominated by sanctions fears and another round of deterioration in relations between Russia and the United States.

We would make a speculative bet on Sberbank today. First, as it always happens when the political background deteriorates, it fell much stronger than other blue chips yesterday. Secondly, today a meeting of the bank’s supervisory board on the issue of dividends may take place. If you believe Gref, that the volume of payments will remain at the level of last year, then the dividend yield of Sberbank’s “usual” in current prices is about 6.5% and slightly more than 7% for preferred shares. This is very good for a blue chip, especially considering that Sberbank closes the dividend gap very quickly.

The second idea is the shares of gold miners. Gold quotes have turned from the support of $ 1,680 per troy ounce and the last 8 sessions are slowly but almost irreversibly moving towards the first growth target of $ 1,770. At the same time, the securities of the sector will be supported by the weakness of the ruble.

You can carefully take Norilsk Nickel as well, let’s hope that all the worst has already happened to the issuer.

Biden’s speech became a good catalyst for the fall of the ruble, which, together with the dollar, could not hold out under the strongest support at 73, and in the morning began to turn upwards from it. At the moment, the rate went above the mark of 74 rubles per dollar.

The general positive after the Fed meeting eased the pressure on the Russian currency a little, but it is better to forget about the dollar-ruble pair going under 73. Now the couple has returned to the usual corridor 73-74.7, where they have been living since December last year and will remain there until the sanctions rhetoric intensifies or the oil falls.

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