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Russia Stocks Jump to 3-Month High on $81 Oil, China Outlook

Aug. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Russia’s Micex Index advanced to its highest in three months as oil topped $81 a barrel and speculation China will reverse policies aimed at cooling the economy boosted demand for riskier assets.

OAO Gazprom, the country’s gas export monopoly, increased 3.7 percent and OAO Rosneft, Russia’s biggest oil producer, added 3.1 percent. Steelmaker OAO Severstal jumped 6.2 percent. Those movements pushed the 30-stock gauge 2.3 percent higher to 1,429.36 at the 6:45 p.m. close in Moscow, its strongest level since April 30.

Oil surged to its highest in three months, rising as much as 3.1 percent to $81.50 a barrel in New York and boosting the outlook for producers in the world’s biggest energy exporter. Emerging-market stocks gained after China said manufacturing grew at the slowest pace in 17 months, prompting speculation the third-biggest economy won’t require more tightening.

“Oil is helping the Russian market today,” John Heisel, a sales trader at Citigroup Inc. in Moscow, said by telephone. “China’s PMI figures were also a boost for commodity markets.”

OAO Uralkali, Russia’s second-biggest potash producer, climbed the most since Jan. 11, gaining 9.8 percent to 139.83 rubles after Vedomosti said its billionaire owner planned to buy a controlling stake in OAO Silvinit as early as this month. Silvinit gained 4 percent to 19,558.67 rubles.

Copper rose to a three-month high, wiping out this year’s drop after gaining 1.3 percent, to $7,391 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange. Aluminum, zinc, nickel and lead climbed to the highest since May. OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, Russia’s biggest miner, added 2.8 percent to 5,115.98 rubles.

Philip Poole, global head of macro and investment strategy at HSBC Global Asset Management U.K. Ltd., said the company raised Russia’s weighting in its BRIC fund at the expense of India.

Russia is “our big overweight” because of its cheapness, Poole said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

“Some big funds are trying to break rank and add more Russia on the belief that the global economy will avoid a double dip,” said Chris Weafer, chief strategist at UralSib Financial Corp., by phone in London.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jason Corcoran at Jcorcoran13@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net

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