The Russian ruble fell to a record low against the dollar today, losing 5.7%, in a stinging rebuke to the central bank’s attempt to stop the carnage by raising interest rates to 17%. While on the face of it a 650 basis point rise may seem huge, it does little to convince the market that the Russian economy will recover from sanctions and a collapse in the price of oil. One should expect the ruble to face continued headwinds as a result.
Just in from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics is that total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 321,000 in November, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.8 percent. Job gains were widespread, led by growth in professional and business services, retail trade, health care, and manufacturing. Revisions to the September and October data were a combined +44,000, bringing the 12-month prior average to 224,000. The November monthly increase is massively over the consensus of 238,000 and will continue to bring forward expectations of a US rate rise and add further gains to the US dollar.