Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Russian stocks had the strongest close in two weeks as oil, the country’s main export earner, rallied on bets Europe’s debt crisis won’t hurt demand.
The 30-stock Micex Index climbed 2.4 percent to 1,396.51 by 6:45 p.m. in Moscow, reversing an earlier loss of as much as 0.7 percent. OAO Sberbank, the nation’s biggest lender, jumped 5.9 percent, its best advance since October 2010. OAO Rosneft, the country’s largest oil producer, added 3.3 percent. The dollar- measured RTS Index rose 3.9 percent to 1,407.77.
Global stocks rose and commodities rallied as European Commission President Jose Barroso called for a reinforcement of crisis-hit banks, the payout of a sixth loan to Greece and a faster start for a permanent rescue fund to master Europe’s debt woes. Concern the global economy will stumble into recession drove the Micex to an 18 percent loss in the third quarter, its sharpest drop in the period since 2008.
“We are still incredibly cautious about the eurozone debt problems,” Tom Mundy, a Moscow-based equity strategist at Otkritie Capital, said by phone today.
European stocks retreated earlier on speculation political wrangling in Slovakia will delay the approval of the euro area’s overhauled bailout fund. Slovakia, the only country that hasn’t ratified the revised European Financial Stability Facility, is headed for a second vote after failing to approve the package yesterday.
Urals crude, Russia’s chief export blend, traded 2.5 percent higher at $110.79, while oil for November delivery advanced as much as 0.9 percent to $86.59 a barrel in New York. OAO Lukoil, the oil producer controlled by billionaires Vagit Alekperov and Leonid Fedun, rallied 1.3 percent.
Smelter Boosts Rusal
United Co. Rusal’s local depositary receipts advanced 3.2 percent, climbing for a second day after China and Russia signed a deal yesterday under which the world’s biggest aluminum producer will receive $1.4 billion to fund a smelter in Siberia.
The Micex has lost 17 percent in 2011 and trades at 4.9 times analysts’ earnings estimates for member companies. That compares with a 22 percent slide for Brazil’s Bovespa index, which trades at 9.4 times estimated earnings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Shanghai Composite Index traded at 11.2 times estimated earnings, and the BSE India Sensitive Index had a ratio of 14.4.
--Editors: Alex Nicholson, Peter Branton
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