Russian stocks climbed by their most in more than three weeks as oil, the country’s main export revenue earner, climbed on better-than-expected U.S. and Chinese economic data.
The Micex Index of 30 shares jumped 1.8 percent to 1,550.05 by the close in Moscow, its biggest one-day gain since March 11. OAO Lukoil, Russia’s second-biggest oil producer, gained 2.7 percent. OAO Mechel, the coalmaker, increased 3.9 percent while OAO Sberbank (SBER), the nation’s largest lender, surged 2.9 percent.
Brent crude for May settlement rose 10 cents to $125.53 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Orders to U.S. factories climbed in February, boosted by demand for business equipment. U.S. manufacturing expanded at a faster pace than economists had estimated last month, a report showed yesterday and China’s non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ index improved in March.
“Manufacturing data from the U.S. was slightly more positive, but what was more important were the Chinese PMI numbers,” Doug Rohlfs, an international salesman at UralSib Financial Corp., wrote in e-mailed comments. “Brent spiking up and the ruble strengthening has also helped.”
The Russian currency appreciated 0.7 percent to 29.1537 per dollar, its strongest since March 27
The U.S. Institute for Supply Management’s factory index climbed yesterday to 53.4 in March from 52.4 in February. Readings greater than 50 signal growth. The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey called for a gain to 53.
Russian stocks rallied by 8.2 percent in the first quarter, the biggest quarterly gain in more than a year on signs the global economy recovery is spurring demand for commodities.
The Market Vectors Russia exchange-traded fund (RSX:US), a U.S.- listed ETF that holds Russian shares, rose 1.1 percent to $31.55. Moscow’s Micex Index trades for 5.7 times analysts’ earnings estimates for member companies, below the 10.7 ratio for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.
Urals Crude, Russia’s chief export blend, fell 0.6 percent to $120.94, paring yesterday’s 1.7 percent advance.
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