Bloomberg News

Micex Advances on ‘Backdraft’ as U.S. Business Activity Expands

December 30, 2011

Dec. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Russia’s benchmark stock index gained for a second day after better-than-forecast U.S. manufacturing data indicated the world’s largest economy is weathering Europe’s debt crisis.

The 30-stock Micex Index increased 1.1 percent to 1,402.23 at the end of trading in Moscow, narrowing the yearly loss to 17 percent. The dollar-measured RTS Index rose 1.2 percent to 1,381.87, trimming the annual decrease to 22 percent.

U.S. business activity expanded in December, prompting companies to boost employment. The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc. reported its business barometer at 62.5 this month, higher than the median forecast of 61 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. A recovery in U.S. manufacturing may help bolster the price of oil and gas, Russia’s largest export earners.

“Very few investors are active today so what we are seeing is the backdraft from yesterday’s gain on Wall Street,” Chris Weafer, chief strategist at Troika Dialog, Russia’s oldest investment bank, said in an e-mail comment.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 1.1 percent to 1,263.02 yesterday as U.S. jobless claims dropped to a three- year low and pending sales of existing homes jumped in November for a second month, pointing to a pickup in the country’s economic growth.

OAO Aeroflot, Russia’s biggest airline, gained 5.5 percent to 50.54 rubles. The airline said it carried more than 14 million passengers this year, a record. Including its units, the group carried more than 20 million people.

OAO Mechel, Russia’s largest producer of coal for steelmakers, climbed 6.5 percent to 270.60 rubles, the steepest jump since Nov. 30. United Co. Rusal, the world’s biggest aluminum producer, gained 1.5 percent to 196.01 rubles.

Russian services-industry growth slowed in December for the first time in four months, HSBC Holdings Plc said today.

--Editors: Linda Shen, Ash Kumar

To contact the reporter on this story: Scott Rose in Moscow at rrose10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Torrey Clark at tclark8@bloomberg.net; Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net


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