Bloomberg News

Russian Stocks Close Near 20-Month High on Payrolls, Fund Flows

April 02, 2010

Russian stocks climbed, pushing the Micex Index close to its highest level in 20 months, after investor appetite for riskier assets increased as the biggest gain in U.S. employment in three years boosted confidence in the global recovery.

OAO Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel, the Russian steelmaker, added 3.7 percent to 29.705 rubles and oil producer OAO Gazprom Neft advanced 2.1 percent. The Micex fluctuated through the day, gaining as much as 0.6 percent, before closing 0.03 percent higher at 1,1480.17, close to its strongest level since Aug. 1, 2008.

A Labor Department report today showed that the U.S. added the most jobs in three years last month, increasing signs that the world’s biggest economy is improving. Funds focused on Russia attracted $69 million in the week to March 30, their seventh consecutive week of inflows, according to EPFR Global Data.

Russia funds have taken in $1.4 billion so far this year compared to $428 million for Brazil, $236 million for India and $55 million for China. The price of crude oil, Russia’s key export earner, surged to a 17-month high of $84.87 yesterday.

“Once investors see $85 the sell orders will disappear and indexed funds will buy any offer they find,” Gregory Klumov, chief investment officer at Everest Asset Management in Moscow, said in e-mailed comments today.

The country’s equity market, the best performing last year worldwide, gained 8.6 percent in March as commodities rallied. The Micex rebounded 120 percent in 2009 as oil prices gained 78 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jason Corcoran at Jcorcoran13@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net


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