Risk assets remain under pressure as there does not appear to be any prospect of de-escalation on the Russian-Ukrainian front. There appears to be bipartisan support for the United States to ban oil imports from Russia. However, this would only be symbolic since imports from Russia represent only 2% of US oil imports (
The focus will be on the results of the UP elections on March 10. It is likely that domestic pump prices would be increased after the election. High-frequency indicators point to a recovery in economic activity after the third wave.
Asian stocks are in a bloodbath today morning with the Hang Seng and Nikkei down 3.5%.
Bonds and Rates
Bonds are expected to sell amid a Brent spike towards USD 130 a barrel. If crude prices continue at current levels, this would completely change the dynamics of domestic inflation. This may prompt the RBI to rethink its policy function. We could have a 7-8bps selloff on the benchmark 10y towards 6.90% levels.
The rupiah at 76.15 had finished close to the weakest level since December 15th. That would be precariously close to an all-time low of 76.94 seen on the Rupee at the height of the COVID crisis. The RBI tried to stop the slide by providing dollars, but the offers were overwhelming. The RBI is due to carry out a 2-year USD 5 billion sell-buy swap tomorrow.
It is suggested that exporters only hedge confirmed positions. For any further expectation-based hedging, we suggest holding the 76.00 stoploss level until the panic subsides. Importers hedge through options or declines.
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