Russian stocks climbed, pushing the 30-share Micex (INDEXCF) index to its strongest advance in three months, as signs of recovery in the U.S. spurred demand for oil, the country’s chief export.
The Micex climbed 3.7 percent to 1,594.55 by the close in Moscow, the largest daily gain since November and a weekly increase of 1.7 percent. OAO Lukoil (LKOH), Russia’s biggest non-state oil company, rose 5.2 percent. The dollar-denominated RTS Index (RTSI$) increased 5 percent to 1,722.05, the best performance among equity indexes tracked by Bloomberg worldwide. The Russian Depositary Index (RDXUSD) of London-traded depositary receipts of Russian companies jumped 0.8 percent to 1,819.72 yesterday as trading was closed in Moscow for a national holiday.
Climbing crude prices, which with gas contribute about 50 percent of state revenue, helped erase a two-day, 2.6 percent drop in the Micex earlier in the week. Oil added 0.6 percent to $108.48 a barrel in New York, a seventh day of gains, after U.S. jobless claims held at the fewest since March 2008.
“Good macro statistics and a partial solution to the issue of Greek debt” are driving positive global sentiment that is helping Russian stocks, Sergey Kucherenko, who manages about $50 million in the country’s equities at Nomos Bank in Moscow, said by e-mail. “Oil prices are trending upwards in the medium- and long-term. Although a short-term downward correction can’t be ruled out, overall the market is looking up.”
OAO Surgutneftegas, Russia’s fourth-largest oil producer, led gains on the Micex. The shares rose 6.5 percent to 30.497 rubles, the highest closing price since April 11.
“The buying mostly originated from exchange-traded fund inflows, which just try to replicate the index,” Julian Rimmer, a trader of Russian shares at CF Global Trading in London, said by e-mail. “Surgutneftegas, as one of the less liquid, heavyweight index names, is more susceptible to bigger moves as a consequence.”
OAO Rosneft, the country’s biggest oil producer, rose 3.9 percent to 225.5 rubles. Crude may rise next week as sanctions on Iran tighten, according to a Bloomberg News survey.
After dropping 6.5 percent in December, the Micex is up 14 percent this year and trades at 6.3 times analysts’ earnings estimates for member companies, the cheapest among 21 emerging markets tracked by Bloomberg.
Brazil’s Bovespa index is valued at 11.7 times estimated earnings, the Shanghai Composite Index trades at 10.1 times estimated earnings, and the BSE India Sensitive Index has a ratio of 15.8.
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