Russian stocks slid from a seven- month high as traders speculated China will refrain from further steps to ease monetary policy, curbing appetite for emerging- market assets.
The 30-stock Micex fell 0.7 percent to 1,586.60 by 12:54 p.m. in Moscow, dropping from its strongest level since Aug. 4. OAO Mechel (MTLR), Russia’s biggest producer of coal for steelmaking, dropped 2.3 percent. OAO Transneft, the state oil pipeline operator, lost as much as 2.3 percent. The dollar-denominated RTS Index (RTSI$) declined 1.3 percent to 1,713.26.
Better-than-expected data on Chinese manufacturing boosted bets the government won’t take more measures to loosen policy. Urals crude, Russia’s main export oil blend, rose 0.3 percent to $122.03 a barrel, while oil futures lost 0.2 percent to $106.88 in New York as U.S. crude stockpiles rose almost four times more than forecast.
OAO Rosneft (ROSN), the largest oil producer, retreated 0.6 percent to 224.40 rubles. OAO Sberbank, Russia’s biggest lender, fell 0.5 percent to 99.65 rubles, slipping from its highest close since Aug. 2, as the ruble depreciated 1 percent against the dollar after gaining 3.8 percent in February.
The Micex (INDEXCF) has climbed 13 percent this year and trades at 6.2 times analysts’ earnings estimates for member companies. Brazil’s Bovespa index, which is valued at 10.6 times estimated earnings, has jumped 16 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Shanghai Composite Index trades at 10.1 times estimated earnings, and the BSE India Sensitive Index has a ratio of 15.5.
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