Russian stocks dropped for the second day this week as oil, the country’s main export revenue earner, fell, damping the outlook for producers.
The Micex Index of 30 shares fell 0.3 percent to 1,501.63 by the 6:45 p.m. close in Moscow, paring an earlier loss of as much as 1.1 percent. Oil producer OAO Tatneft retreated 1 percent. OAO Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel, Russian billionaire Victor Rashnikov’s steelmaker, fell 1.3 percent. The dollar- denominated RTS Index advanced 0.3 percent to 1,620.19.
Urals crude, Russia’s chief export blend, was earlier down as much as 0.2 percent to $116.94. The oil market is going to stay “very volatile” because of the situation with Iran, even as talks are scheduled to discuss sanctions and the country’s nuclear program, Daniel Yergin, chairman of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates, said yesterday at a conference in New York.
“Oil prices remain under pressure even as Iran concerns decrease ahead of negotiations on its nuclear program,” Maria Kalvarskaia, who heads equity research at TKB Capital in Moscow, wrote in an e-mailed report today.
The U.S. has threatened sanctions against countries that fail to make “significant” reductions in Iranian oil purchases in the first half to halt the Persian Gulf country’s nuclear program. Japan and 10 European Union nations won exemptions after demonstrating cuts in imports.
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 5.5 times analysts’ earnings estimates for member companies, below the 11.8 ratio for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.
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