The ruble is surging as oil hits 18-month highs

The Russian ruble is surging as oil prices hit 18-month highs.

The petro-currency is up by 1.2% at 60.5471 per dollar as of 7:48 a.m. ET.

Oil prices are climbing on the first trading day of 2017 as markets eagerly await whether or not OPEC and other major oil producers’ plans to cut production went into effect on January 1, 2017.

OPEC and other major producers including Russia agreed in late November to cut production by nearly 1.8 million barrels per day come 2017.

The decision to cut reflects oil producers’ desire to end the global glut, which has kept prices depressed for over two years.

Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, is up by 2.2% at $58.06 per barrel and WTI crude, the US benchmark, is up by 2.3% at $54.95 per barrel. Both are around levels last seen in July 2015.

As for the rest of the world, here’s the scoreboard as of 8:05 a.m. ET: 

  • The US dollar is up by 1.2% at 103.44 after a softer start in Asian trade. Later in the day, Market manufacturing PMI will be released at 9:45 a.m. ET before both ISM Manufacturing and construction spending cross the wires at 10 a.m. ET.
  • The euro is down by 0.7% at 1.0383 against the dollar. German unemployment change for December came in at -17,000, better than the forecast -5,000, and compared to the -6,000 print in the prior month. Additionally, German CPI rose by 0.7% month-over-month in December, above expectations of 0.6%, and above the prior month’s reading of 0.1%. Separately, the start of the New Year marks the 15th anniversary of the euro being officially adopted as the primary physical currency in 12 countries across Europe, three years after becoming an official accounting currency. Here’s the entire history of the euro.
  • The Japanese yen is down by 0.6% at 118.20 per dollar. “Rising global yields with the US 10-year Treasury yields up five bp today, and European yields up 5-8 bp, while equities firm, may be a factor driving the yen lower,” wrote Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman.
  • The British pound is little changed at 1.2273 against the dollar. Separately, Markit UK manufacturing PMI hit 56.1 in December, the highest print in 30 months. 

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