The Bloomberg Russia-US 14 Index of Russian companies traded in New York gained 4.7 percent, the most since Oct. 27, to 95.06, as Sberbank, Russia’s largest lender, jumped 6 percent. OAO Mechel, the nation’s biggest coal producer for steelmakers, added the most in four weeks and Yandex NV, operator of Russia’s most popular search engine, climbed 6.3 percent. In Hong Kong, United Co. Rusal, the world’s largest aluminum producer, rose 0.9 percent at the city’s midday break.
Crude, Russia’s biggest export earner, rose to the highest level in three days yesterday as U.S. retail sales over the Thanksgiving weekend, including so-called Black Friday on Nov. 25, climbed to a record $52.4 billion. A proposal for a rescue fund to insure bonds of debt-plagued nations with guarantees of as much as 30 percent in Europe, Russia’s chief export partner, also boosted prices for metals.
“The Black Friday numbers have shown that the American consumer is still willing to spend,” Yan Gloukhovski, a trader at Alforma Capital Markets, the New York unit of Russia’s Alfa Bank, said by phone yesterday. “Russia is a commodity-driven market and commodities are dependent on the global market environment.”
Futures expiring in December on Moscow’s dollar-denominated RTS index were little changed at 147,750 by 2:50 p.m. in New York. The RTS Volatility Index, which measures expected swings in the index futures, fell 7 percent to 49.98 points, the biggest drop since Oct. 7.
American depositary receipts of Sberbank rose 6 percent to $10.55, the biggest one-day gain in a month. The stock added 5.8 percent on the Micex index in Moscow to 82.98 rubles, or the equivalent of $2.64. One Sberbank ADR is equal to four ordinary shares.
“We are in a high level of correlation with what happens in the U.S., what happens in Europe,” said Ian McCall, managing partner at Geneva-based Quesnell Capital SA, which manages the equivalent of about $116 million of emerging-market assets, including Russian bank bonds.
The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of 24 raw materials rose 1.4 percent to 644.84, while copper for March delivery added 2.7 percent to $3.3715 a pound on the Comex in New York, the biggest advance for a most-active contract since Oct. 27.
Yandex, based in The Hague, Netherlands, was the biggest gainer on the Bloomberg Russia-US 14 Index after the company said it acquired developer SPB Software to expand the use of its search capabilities on mobile devices. Yandex climbed 6.3 percent to $20.99 in New York, the biggest one-day advance since Nov. 3. The price of the acquisition wasn’t disclosed.
Crude oil for January delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped as much as 1 percent in after-hours trading. Futures climbed 1.5 percent yesterday to settle at $98.21 a barrel. Brent crude for January settlement gained 2.4 percent to $109 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Urals crude, Russia’s chief export blend, rose 2.4 percent to $108.78.
Oil and natural gas sales contribute about 17 percent of Russia’s gross domestic product and as much as 40 percent of government revenue.
OAO Lukoil (LUKOY), Russia’s biggest non-state oil producer, rose the most since Oct. 10 in New York trading, gaining 5.9 percent to $54.63 in New York and rising for the first time in five trading days. Lukoil’s Micex stock climbed 4.2 percent to 1,712.20 rubles, or $54.54. One Lukoil ADR is equal to one ordinary share.
Moscow brokerage IFC Metropol cut their price target for Lukoil ADRs by $5.90 to $70.10, following a 21 percent drop in the company’s third-quarter profit and declines in crude and natural gas production. Raiffeisenbank AG reduced its recommendation on Lukoil shares traded on the Micex and RTS indexes to “hold” from “buy,” according to an e-mailed client note.
ADRs of OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel (NILSY), the world’s largest producer of the metal, gained 5.3 percent to $17, the largest advance since Nov. 18. Norilsk rose 4 percent in Moscow to 5,364 rubles, or $170.89. One ADR in the company is equal to one-tenth of an ordinary share.
Norilsk plans to spend $2.1 billion upgrading power stations and infrastructure under its strategy to 2025, the company said on its website yesterday. Russia may cap nickel and copper export duties as soon as the country joins the World Trade Organization, the Interfax news wire reported, citing Maxim Medvedkov, Russia’s chief WTO negotiator.
The 30-stock Micex index advanced 3.9 percent to 1,466.22 in Moscow yesterday. The RTS index added 4.4 percent to 1,475.25.
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