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Pictet: Four reasons why Russia will shrug off the latest round of US sanctions

We look at why the latest US sanctions are unlikely to be as harmful for Russia as the 2014 ones, reinforcing the investment case for Russia.

Decoupling between oil prices and the ruble

US sanctions in 2014 occurred at a time when both oil prices and the ruble were declining. This time, rising oil prices have decoupled from a falling ruble (Fig.1). This is exceptional.

Strong global demand and an extension of the OPEC production cut have lifted oil prices. Meanwhile, the already undervalued ruble acted as shock absorber of the new sanctions, depreciating 6.2 per cent in April against the US dollar, but just 0.3 per cent in nominal trade-weighted terms.

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