Russia Stocks Fluctuate as Crude Gains, European Officials Meet

Russia (INDEXCF)’s benchmark stock index swung between gains and losses as crude oil, the nation’s chief export earner, climbed and as European policy makers begin meetings.

The Micex Index retreated less than 0.1 percent to 1,495.52 by 11:27 a.m. in Moscow, after increasing as much as 0.2 percent. Of 50 stocks, 19 rose and 29 decreased. The dollar- denominated RTS Index (RTSI$) added less than 0.1 percent to 1,531.99. United Co. Rusal, the world’s biggest aluminum producer, sank 3.5 percent. Retailer M.Video increased 1.4 percent.

European leaders start a two-day summit in Brussels today, with euro-area finance ministers meeting separately tomorrow to discuss a bailout for Cyprus. Oil in New York added 0.1 percent to $92.64 a barrel after slipping 0.4 percent earlier. Crude and natural gas account for about 50 percent of Russia’s budget revenue.

“Today, investors will focus on the European news, as the EU summit is starting in Brussels, with more news expected tomorrow,” UralSib Capital analysts wrote in an e-mailed note.

Today, 10-day price swings on the Micex fell to 11.336, while the number of shares traded was 13 percent below its 30- day average, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

OAO RusHydro fell 0.6 percent to 67.26 kopeks. The Russian renewable energy producer that sank to a record low in London yesterday, will extend declines as a second year of sliding revenue dims dividend prospects, according to VTB Capital.

Sales Contraction

The company, Russia’s biggest alternative energy producer, will post a 25 percent contraction in sales for 2012 when it reports earnings in international standards April 1, according to the mean of 15 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The Market Vectors Russia ETF (RSX), the largest dedicated Russian exchange-traded fund, declined 0.9 percent to $28.65 yesterday. The RTS Volatility Index, which measures expected swings in the index futures, rose 0.7 percent to 20.44.

Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of raw materials was up 0.2 percent to 648.34. The Bloomberg Russia-US Equity Index (RUS14BN) of the 14 most-traded Russian stocks in the U.S. lost 0.4 percent yesterday.

The Micex trades at about 5.5 times estimated earnings and has added 1.5 percent this year. That compares with a multiple of 11 times for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, which dropped 0.8 percent over the same period.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ksenia Galouchko in Moscow at kgalouchko1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Wojciech Moskwa at wmoskwa@bloomberg.net

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