Below extract courtesy of global macro trading think tank Rareview Macro LLC ‘s Jan 13 edition of daily commentary via “Sight Beyond Sight”
To Russia Without Much Love: Crude Catalyst and Credit Impact
With another day of lower Crude Oil prices, the vice-grip on the Russian Federation continues to be tightened.
The 5-year credit default swap (CDS) spread has widened out to a new high today and the default probability has increased too slightly above ~34%. In November, there was just a 1 in 5 chance of default. In December, there was just a 1 in 4 chance of default. In January, there is now a 1 in 3 chance of default. The Rubble Basket (symbol: RUBBASK) is above 70.00. It has only traded with a “70 handle” during the height of the December 15-18th currency crisis.
With interest rates above 17% and a continuing effort to defend the Rubble exchange rate, the Russian credit market remains the release valve for stress. This should not be a surprise given that Fitch joined S&P last week in lowering its credit rating to BBB-, the lowest level before junk.
As a reminder, at the end of December, S&P put the country on credit watch negative and has 90-days to act. However, in its press release on December 30th the ratings agency said that it aims to resolve its corporate debt ratings by the end of January, after it makes a decision on the sovereign grade. Given the continued breakdown in the Crude Oil price, speculators are increasingly sensitive to the fact that S&P could very soon be the first rating agency to lower Russia to high yield.
Gold Miners: Quick Update: GDX & GFI Could Gain Continue reading