Russian shares rose for a second day as mobile operator OAO MegaFon advanced and crude oil gained, boosting appetite for stocks in the world’s biggest energy exporter.
The Micex Index (INDEXCF) climbed 0.3 percent to 1,457.41 by 11:24 a.m. in Moscow, extending last week’s gains. OAO TMK, the world’s largest maker of pipes for the oil and gas industry by volume, added 4.8 percent to 94 rubles. MegaFon jumped 2.5 percent to 1,149 rubles, extending this year’s 59 percent rally.
Brent crude climbed for a second day, adding 0.4 percent to $109.21 a barrel in London. The Federal Reserve may begin reducing its $85 billion of monthly bond purchases at its Dec. 17-18 meeting, according to 34 percent of economists surveyed Dec. 6 by Bloomberg, up from 17 percent in a Nov. 8 poll. Russia-dedicated equity funds received about $120 million in the week to Dec. 11, UralSib Capital said in a note on Dec. 13, citing EPFR Global data.
“We’re expecting the market to stay at this level until the end of the year, there’s less activity as people prepare for the holidays,” Dmitry Mikhailov, a money manager at Alfa Capital Partners Ltd. in Moscow, where he helps manage about $3 billion, said by phone. “I’m not expecting any surprises from the Fed meeting.”
Emerging-market stocks dropped, dragging the benchmark gauge to a one-month low, after a Chinese manufacturing index unexpectedly fell to a three-month low, suggesting the world’s second-largest economy is vulnerable to a slowdown.
OAO Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port gained 1.5 percent to 2.8695 rubles. OAO Transneft has proposed buying Summa Group’s shares in the port and then selling back assets that aren’t related to oil transportation, Vedomosti reported, citing two unidentified people. Transneft and Summa denied the report.
Russia’s central bank left interest rates unchanged for a 15th month on Dec. 13, as forecast by all 23 economists in a Bloomberg survey, after inflation accelerated more than predicted in November. The Micex has fallen 1.2 percent this year amid signs the economy is foundering, and as the Federal Reserve weighed tapering its bond-buying program.
An improving U.S. job market has increased the chances of a reduction in the central bank’s asset purchases, Fed Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said Dec. 9.
The dollar-denominated RTS Index (RTSI$) in Moscow added 0.4 percent to 1,396.96. Russian equities have the cheapest valuations among 21 emerging-market economies monitored by Bloomberg, with shares on the benchmark trading at 4.2 times projected 12-month earnings, compared with a multiple of 10.1 for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.
The Micex slid 2 percent in November, the worst month since May. The International Monetary Fund on Dec. 10 cut Russia’s growth forecast for next year to 2 percent from 3 percent.
Redemptions from Russia-dedicated equity funds hit $3.52 billion in 2013 through Nov. 29, the most since the Boston-based research firm started tracking flows in 1996, EPFR said by e-mail Dec. 3.
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