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Russia Stocks Poised for Best Week Since 2011 as Crude Advances

Russian stocks extended gains for a fifth day, set for the biggest weekly advance since December 2011 as oil and gas producers rose.

The Micex Index (INDEXCF) added 0.3 percent to 1,426.82 by 11:49 a.m. in Moscow, after surging the most since September 2012 yesterday. The gauge was poised for a 4.6 percent jump in the week. OAO Gazprom, Russia’s natural gas export monopoly, gained 1.2 percent to 141.69 rubles. Oil producer OAO Lukoil increased 0.8 percent to 1,996.70 rubles.

Crude oil was little changed at $108.30 a barrel in New York, heading for a second weekly gain. Russia gets about 50 percent of its budget revenue from the oil and gas industries. The ruble was steady at 33.4305 to the dollar, taking its slide this week to 0.3 percent.

“For the oil and gas sector, the combination of a weak ruble and high oil price is very positive,” Mark Rubinstein, head of research at IFC Metropol in Moscow, said by phone. “Gazprom was trading at very cheap levels, investors have finally noticed that.”

Dixy Group, Russia’s third-largest food retailer, tumbled 1.8 percent to 426.70 rubles. The company reduced its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization estimate for 2013 yesterday, leading VTB Capital to cut the stock to hold.

U.S. payrolls figures today may add to signs of an improving jobs market ahead of the Federal Reserve’s Sept. 17-18 meeting, when it will gauge whether the world’s biggest economy can withstand a reduction in unprecedented stimulus.

Equity Outflows

Russian equities lost $535 million in outflows in the week ended Sept. 4, according to an e-mailed note today from VTB Capital, which cited EPFR Global data.

With U.S. President Barack Obama in St. Petersburg for a summit of global leaders, his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Sept 4 denounced a potential U.S. attack on Syria as a violation of international law. Obama told reporters the two countries’ relations have “hit a wall.”

Russian equities have the cheapest valuations among 21 emerging economies tracked by Bloomberg, with shares trading at 3.7 times 12-month estimated earnings, compared with a multiple of 10.2 for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. The dollar-denominated RTS Index was little changed at 1,339.05.

The volume of shares traded on the Micex was 33 percent above the 30-day average today.

The Bloomberg Russia-US Equity Index of the most-traded Russian stocks in New York rose 2.9 percent yesterday, while the Market Vectors Russia ETF (RSX), the largest dedicated Russian exchange-traded fund, gained 2.9 percent to $27.04.

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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