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Currency forecast for December: Waiting for devaluation and stocking up on euro

What will the hryvnia exchange rate be in December 2021. Collage: PG

What will the hryvnia exchange rate be in December 2021. Collage: PG

Money loves silence. If it is violated, then nervousness arises that accelerates the withdrawal of capital from Ukraine, and that immediately affects the foreign exchange market. It is this nervousness that has been created by rumors of Russian aggression and the latest statements by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy about the preparation of a "coup d'etat."

Additional pressure on the foreign exchange market (the dollar rate in Ukraine, the euro rate in Ukraine, and the rate of other currencies) is exerted by devaluation sentiments and the payment of VAT refunds. The exporters hold back their foreign exchange earnings, the supply of the dollar decreases, and the hryvnia exchange rate drops.

Last week (November 22-26), the National Bank had to sell the dollar again to support the hryvnia—$630.1 million. On Monday, November 29, another $53-54 million was sold.

As a result, after a prolonged strengthening, the hryvnia realized the most pessimistic forecasts in November. In relation to the dollar, the exchange rate weakened by more than one hryvnia: on November 11, the official dollar exchange rate was 26.05 UAH, and on November 30—27.17 UAH.

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What will happen to the hryvnia exchange rate in December, is it worth buying a currency, how the NBU will change the method of determining the exchange rate, and what is happening in the world foreign exchange market—read about this in the traditional article of The Page.

Hryvnia exchange rate forecast for December 2021

The experts predict further devaluation of the national currency. According to Yurii Netesanyi, the Managing Partner at Atlant Finance, the dollar exchange rate in December will be in the range of 27.0—27.5 UAH. To a large extent, his forecast is due to fundamental factors related to the escalation of the situation on the border of Ukraine with the Russian Federation. Andriy Shevchishin, the Head of the Forex Club analytics department, suggests a wider corridor—from 27 to 28.5 UAH per dollar.

According to the experts, the following factors will negatively affect the Ukrainian currency rate by the end of the year:

  • expectation of the situation escalation on the border of Ukraine and the RF. Participants of the foreign exchange and securities markets, when making decisions to buy or sell assets, in addition to profitability, are guided by risks. As the risks have grown significantly, the demand for Ukrainian assets has decreased. Moreover, non-residents are cutting existing positions. For instance, over the past week, foreigners cut their portfolios in government bonds to 94.73 billion (almost by 2 billion UAH);
  • energy problems. "Russia's refusal to supply thermal coal and electricity to Ukraine, Belarus' restrictions on the supply of electricity have increased the likelihood of an energy crisis. This required additional resources in foreign currency for the purchase and transportation of coal by sea. Also, one should not forget about the price of gas that is currently sold on the European market for about $1,000 per cubic meter," Netesanyi explains. Note that according to official statistics, Ukraine has not recently been importing gas;
  • seasonal factor of the intensification of expenditures from the state budget. Traditionally, more than 25% of all budget expenditures for the year are in November and December. This leads to an increase in the volume of hryvnia in the banking system, a significant part of it goes to the foreign exchange market to buy foreign currency, and that leads to an increase in demand.

The following factors will positively impact the Ukrainian currency rate by the end of the year:

  • NBU’s actions. The regulator sells a lot of currency on the interbank market in order to balance supply and demand and stop the hryvnia decline. It will continue doing this, since the size of foreign exchange reserves allows it to do this;
  • according to Galyna Kheylo, the Vice-president of the Association of Ukrainian Banks, the unprecedented earnings of exporters and obtaining a tranche of an IMF loan in the amount of $700 million have a positive impact on the hryvnia. These funds were largely used to replenish the NBU's reserves.

Forecast of euro and ruble exchange rates in December

In addition to the tense situation at the borders, the exchange rate of the European currency will be impacted by the results of trading on the international currency market, namely, the ratio of the euro to the dollar. Now it is about 1.12 dollars for one euro. The experts believe that the euro has already reached its lowest level in November and began its correction. According to Netesanyi, in December, in a narrow range of the euro, the dollar should be expected in the corridor of 1.12—1.15, and in a wide range—1.11—1.16 dollars per euro. Accordingly, the euro quotes in Ukraine can be in a narrow range of 30—31 UAH per euro and 29.5—31.5 UAH in a wide range.

The Russian ruble, according to Netesanyi's forecast, in December should be expected in the range of 0.36–0.37 UAH per ruble, but given the unstable political situation, quotations may go into a wider corridor of 0.355–0.375 UAH per ruble. The ruble exchange rate will change based on geopolitical factors and world energy prices.

When is it worth buying currency

The ideal time to buy the dollar has already passed, the experts point out. At the same time, according to Andriy Shevchishin, the Head of the Forex Club analytics department, the dollar remains attractive for buying at a rate of 27 UAH.

A good rate for buying euros can be a level below 30 UAH. The European currency can be bought profitably at the beginning of December and at the end of the month, when the Christmas currency rallies begin.

Amendments to methodology for fixing official exchange rate of hryvnia

On November 29, the National Bank announced the completion of a public discussion of proposals on amendments to the Regulation on fixing the official exchange rate of the hryvnia against foreign currencies and the calculation of the reference value of the exchange rate against the US dollar and the accounting price of the bank metals.

The public discussion of the amendments included two stages. At the first stage, they were considered at the meeting of the Contact Group of the money and foreign exchange markets on 2 August. At that time comments and suggestions for amending the Regulation on the rate were not received. At the second stage that began on October 28, the NBU posted a report about the amendments on its website and invited everyone to submit their comments and suggestions by November 28. There were none.

Amendments to the Regulation on the exchange rate will soon be submitted for consideration by the NBU Board that will approve them.

Situation in global financial markets

Markets are in alarming anticipation after news of the emergence and spread of the new coronavirus strain Omicron. The traders are discussing the possibility that the US Federal Reserve may refuse to tighten monetary policy in the first half of 2022, which those who actively bought the dollar hoped for.

The speculators fear that due to expectations of a serious new wave of coronavirus, the FRS will again launch a massive emission of the dollar, and that will lead to its fall relative to other reserve currencies.

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