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Gazprom Surges on Possible China Gas Deal Before Hu Trip

OAO Gazprom jumped the most since February after China, the world’s biggest energy consumer, said it may sign a deal to import Russian natural gas ahead of President Hu Jintao’s visit later this month.

The shares climbed 4.5 percent to 204.65 rubles by the 6:45 p.m. close in Moscow, their biggest gain since Feb. 24.

“Before Hu’s state visit, there will be a major agreement on natural gas,” China’s Assistant Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping told reporters in Beijing today. Hu’s visit will take place June 15-18, he said.

Gazprom was climbing “as expectations rise” for the announcement of a deal, Julian Rimmer, a trader of Russian shares at CF Global Trading, said today in e-mailed comments.

“The Russians have been playing hardball in negotiations and refusing to accept a lower price than that commanded for their gas in Europe,” he said.

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