Russian stocks climbed for a second day this week as oil, the country’s main revenue earner, gained after the U.S. Energy Department said stockpiles of gasoline and distillate fuels declined.
The Micex Index of 30 shares rose 0.5 percent to 1,505.77 by the close in Moscow, erasing earlier losses of as much as 0.8 percent. Oil producers OAO Surgutneftegas and OAO Tatneft added 2.1 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively. OAO Sberbank, the nation’s largest lender, rallied 0.5 percent. The dollar- denominated RTS Index advanced 0.5 percent to 1,615.69.
Oil for May delivery rose $1.18, or 1.2 percent, in New York to $102.2 a barrel. Gasoline inventories fell 4.28 million barrels to 217.6 million last week, the Energy Department said. Stockpiles were forecast to decline 1.38 million barrels, according to the median of analyst estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Distillate supplies, which include heating oil and diesel, dropped 4 million barrels to 131.9 million. Stockpiles were forecast to fall 250,000 barrels.
“The price of oil is slowly declining and even though there is almost no risk of a major collapse, the journey to a new trading range or support platform will continue to weigh on sentiment toward Russia,” Chris Weafer, chief strategist at Troika Dialog in Moscow, wrote in an e-mailed report today.
Urals crude, Russia’s chief export blend, gained 0.1 percent to $117.33, paring yesterday’s 1.9 percent loss.
Russian stocks rallied 8.2 percent in the first three months of the year, the biggest quarterly gain in more than a year, on signs the global economy recovery is spurring demand for commodities. The gauge trades at 5.6 times analysts’ earnings estimates for member companies, below the 11.8 ratio for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.
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