• Russian Rouble (RUB) sees volatile trade
  • Rating agencies downgrade Russian sovereign bonds again
  • US Dollar (USD) rises across the board on safe-haven flows
  • US NFP saw 678k jobs added

The US Dollar Russian Rouble (USD/RUB) exchange rate is falling on Friday as it pulled back from a record high yesterday. The pair surged to 118.27 on Thursday before settling fat at 106.01.  At 15:30 UTC, USD/RUB trades -0.95% at 105 after rising as much as 115.00 earlier in the session as volatility continued.

The Russian Rouble fell further on Monday in volatile trade after Russia’s credit rating was cut further into junk.

The S&P rating agency cut Russia’s rating again, less than a week after slashing it from investment grade amid growing expectations that Russia will default following crippling sanctions from the West.

The Russian central bank lowered commissions on FX purchases from 30% to 12% and Moscow’s stock exchange remained closed on Friday on the fifth day of restrictions imposed by the central bank.

The US Dollar is rising across the board. The US Dollar Index, which measures the greenback versus a basket of major currencies, trades +1% at the time of writing at 98,74 adding to yesterday’s gains. The US dollar is set to gain 2.2% across the week,

The US dollar is being boosted by safe-haven flows as the Russian conflict deepens. But in addition to safe-haven flows the US dollar is being boosted by upbeat data and by expectations of a rate rise by the Fed in 2 weeks.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell appeared before Congress for a second time yesterday and reaffirmed that the Fed would raise interest rates at the March meeting on 17th March.

Today, US non-farm payroll data was being closely watched. The US economy added 678,000 jobs to the economy in February, this was well over the 400,000 that was forecast, and January’s figure was also revised higher to 481,000. The unemployment rate fell to 3.8%, from 4%.

On point of concern for the Fed would be the fact that average wages failed to push higher missing forecast of 0.5%, With inflation so high, wage growth isn’t keeping up.