Bloomberg News

Russian Stocks Decline as Oil Retreats on European Concern

January 09, 2012

Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Russian stocks fell, paring last week’s gain as oil dropped before French and German leaders meet in Berlin amid the struggle to save the euro.

The 30-stock Micex index slipped 0.3 percent to 1,435.85 as of 10:55 a.m. in Moscow, after climbing 2.7 percent last week. OAO Rosneft and OAO Lukoil, Russia’s biggest oil companies, both declined. The dollar-denominated RTS index lost 0.6 percent to 1,415.94.

Oil, Russia’s chief export earner, retreated 0.4 percent to $101.15 per barrel in New York before German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy meet to flesh out a new European rulebook for fiscal discipline negotiated at a Dec. 9 summit. An index of executive and consumer sentiment in the 17-nation euro area fell to a two-year low in December, the Brussels-based European Commission said on Jan. 6.

“For Russia, Europe remains a question mark, and then there are also the country’s own political uncertainties,” John-Paul Smith, a London-based emerging-market strategist at Deutsche Bank AG, said in an interview. “Russian stocks are cheap, but there are structural impediments for translating that cheapness into tangible shareholder returns.”

The Micex index trades at 5.4 times analysts’ estimates for member companies, the lowest among the biggest emerging markets including Brazil, India and China.

Rosneft dropped 0.4 percent to 220.24 rubles, and Lukoil lost 0.7 percent to 1,728.9 rubles. United Co. Rusal, the world’s largest aluminum producer, fell 1.2 percent to 190.75 rubles.

Russian markets are open during the country’s New Year holiday that lasts until Jan. 10. A total 17 billion shares were traded on the Micex Jan. 6, compared with a daily average of 46.7 billion stocks last month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

--With assistance from Leon Lazaroff and Halia Pavliva in New York. Editors: Stephen Kirkland, Tim Farrand

To contact the reporter on this story: Jack Jordan in Moscow at jjordan22@bloomberg.net

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


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