Russian stocks advanced for the first day in three as oil prices climbed and concern about Greece’s deficit receded, spurring appetite for riskier assets.
OAO Sberbank, Russia’s biggest bank, rose 2.3 percent and OAO Lukoil, the country’s second-largest oil producer increased 0.8 percent. The Micex Index added 1.4 percent to 1,496.88 at the close in Moscow, taking the gain this week to 1.1 percent. Oil has gained 0.5 percent this week and 7.5 percent this year.
Concern over a Greek default subsided as European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said a European Union and International Monetary Fund rescue plan probably won’t be needed. Crude, Russia’s key export earner, added as much as 76 cents in New York to $86.15.
Stocks pared some of their gains after Fitch Ratings downgraded Greece to BBB- from BBB+ with a negative outlook.
Equities in Russia, the world’s biggest energy supplier, advanced 8.8 percent in March as commodity prices rose.