Russia Stocks Fall 3rd Day as Metal, Oil Drop on China Concern

Russian stocks declined for a third day as metal and oil prices fell on concern accelerating inflation in China will force authorities to cool the economy, hurting demand for commodities.

OAO Severstal, Russia’s largest steelmaker and OAO Novolipetsk, its biggest by market value, both slipped more than 1 percent, dragging the 30-stock Micex Index 0.5 percent lower to 1,395.91 at the close in Moscow trading. Energy and metals are Russia’s biggest export earners.

Emerging-market stocks fell for the first time in five days as Chinese inflation reached a 16-month high, prompting speculation the government will pare back stimulus. All six main metals traded on the London Metals Exchange retreated, led by nickel and tin. Crude oil for April delivery dropped 30 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $81.79 a barrel in New York.

The Chinese data spurred “fears of a policy tightening,” Peter Szopo, head of research at Alfa Bank in Moscow, said in a report today.

OAO Gazprom, Russia’s export gas monopoly, declined 1.9 percent to 171.08 rubles, its lowest level in more than a week.

OAO Uralkali, Russia’s second-largest potash producer, rose the most in a week after Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin denied the government planned to impose an export tax on the fertilizer ingredient.

Uralkali depositary receipts gained as much as 5.4 percent in London, trading 2.4 percent higher at $21.11 at 3:45 p.m. OAO Silvinit, the country’s biggest potash producer, advanced as much as 1.3 percent and closed 0.6 percent higher at 20,911 rubles in Moscow.

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