Russia’s RTS stock-index futures fell, signaling stocks may drop for a second day in Moscow, as investors considered whether the U.S. Federal Reserve will take measures to stimulate the world’s largest economy.
Futures on the dollar-denominated index expiring in September declined 0.4 percent to 155,530 yesterday after Moscow’s 30-stock Micex Index (INDEXCF) dropped 1.3 percent to 1,442.51. The Micex may slide 0.5 percent at the start of trading today, according to Alfa Bank. Asian stocks swung between gains and losses.
The American depositary receipts of OAO Lukoil, Russia’s second-biggest oil producer, fell 2.2 percent to $57.09. The ADRs of OAO Gazprom, the world’s largest gas producer, fell 1.6 percent to $11.80. The Hong Kong traded shares of United Co. Rusal advanced 2.1 percent to HK$7.98 as of 9:31 a.m. in Moscow, headed for their strongest close in a week.
Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke is scheduled to speak at the annual Fed symposium in Jackson Hole today amid speculation he will announce a third round of asset purchases, or quantitative easing. European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet also is set to speak at the conference. At last year’s meeting, Bernanke signaled a second round of asset purchases that helped spur a rally in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
“The way markets are performing, they’re not pricing in much as far as Bernanke announcing anything significant,” Paul Biszko, an emerging-market strategist at RBC Capital Markets in Toronto, said in a phone interview. “People are very jittery, and the mood remains very cautious.”
The Bank of New York Mellon Russia ADR Index fell 1 percent while the Market Vectors Russia ETF, a U.S.-traded fund that holds Russian shares, dropped 1.9 percent to $30.86.
U.S. Stocks Fall
U.S. stocks declined, snapping a three-day rally, after jobless claims unexpectedly increased and selling in German futures sparked a rout in global equities. The S&P 500 retreated 1.6 percent, its biggest decline in a week.
The euro weakened for a second day against the dollar as European regulators extended bans on short-selling in equity markets in an effort to prevent the region’s sovereign-debt crisis from worsening. The euro fell 0.2 percent against the dollar to 1.4379 at 4:23 p.m. in New York.
The Micex dropped for the first day in four as crude for October delivery, the country’s biggest export, declined as much as 2.5 percent in New York before settling 0.2 percent higher. Urals crude, Russia’s chief export oil blend, rose 0.5 percent to $110.65 a barrel.
Russia’s benchmark equity gauge has fallen 15 percent since the start of the year and currently trades at 5.7 times analysts’ earnings estimates. That compares with a 24 percent slide for Brazil’s Bovespa Index, which trades at 8.7 times estimated earnings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The Shanghai Composite Index trades at 12 times estimated earnings, and India’s Sensex at a ratio of 13.5.
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