Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Ukraine crisis directly reflects the USD/RUB and Russian ETF's

Sometimes market volatility caused by geopolitical events, like the one we see now with the crisis in Crimea, Ukraine, can reveal clear market direction and thus offer money making opportunities. For instance, the Russian Ruble already started to lose its value when Russia invaded Crimea, Ukraine. The Russian stock market crashed as well, since investors feared possible sanctions would have a negative impact and pulled out their investments. Obviously, it's affecting the Russian ETF's (RSX for example) and Russia's overall economy negatively. Using the Russian invasion to make money? Well, you simply make money in the markets after obvious reactions;  what is likely to happen when a country invades another country, etc. Sanctions and isolation would be disastrous for Russia's economy, is Crimea worth it?  Here's a forex pair I rarely trade: the USD/RUB. Buying the USD/RUB was a good idea a few days ago for instance. At this time of writing there's reports about Putin pulling border troops out, though not yet confirmed by Ukraine, guess what; the USD/RUB shows it. Since it's not definite, and there's still a lot more to be done, it reflects by not drastically falling. It's an immediate reflection of what is going on currently with the crisis in the Ukraine. Take a look at the chart below:


The USD/RUB spiked when reports came in Russia had invaded the Ukraine. Traders and investors dumped the Ruble. As soon as there was news the Russian troops would back down, the Ruble gained strength again against the USD. The worse the situation gets in the Ukraine, the stronger the USD/RUB will react. The opposite is true as well, if things start to settle in the Ukraine it's likely that you will see a stronger Russian Ruble. So, the better or worse the news, the stronger the market's reaction. Well see how this plays out. I think the main indicator during this fiasco is the USD/RUB. Keep an eye on this pair if you want to jump into any trades involving Russia. Normally, this is a pretty volatile pair, but a geopolitical issue like this may make this an easy trade. I think (hope) that Russia won't escalate this matter any further, especially after reports came out that Russian troops were pulling back. Therefore I'm short the USD/RUB (36.400), and see the pair trading around 'normal' levels (34 / 35 range) again soon. Consequently, I'm bullish on the RSX ETF, though I haven't made a final trade since this ETF is not as quickly to respond to major events in Russia, unlike foreign exchange. For a list of Russian ETF's, take look here.

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