Russia RTS-Index Futures Gain on U.S., European Debt Outlook

Russia’s RTS stock-index futures rose for a second day amid optimism that U.S. lawmakers are nearing a compromise to cut the deficit and avoid default, and European leaders will make progress this week on that region’s credit crisis.

Futures on the dollar-denominated index expiring in September advanced 0.5 percent to 193,025 yesterday.

Contracts on OAO Rosneft, Russia’s biggest oil producer, rose 0.7 percent and those on OAO Sberbank, Russia’s largest lender, gained 0.6 percent. Agreements on OAO Gazprom, the world’s largest gas producer, increased 0.5 percent.

Commodities rose, led by copper futures that reached a three-month high after a government report showed housing starts gained more than forecast in June in the U.S., the world’s second-biggest user of the metal.

“There’s some optimism about the Europeans meeting later this week and that the Americans are getting closer to a compromise on the debt ceiling,” Paul Biszko, an emerging-market strategist at RBC Capital Markets in Toronto, said in a phone interview. “China is proving to be a major force behind commodity price strength and Russia is indirectly benefitting from that.”

President Barack Obama endorsed a $3.7 trillion debt-cutting plan by a bipartisan group of senators that would combine tax increases and spending cuts, saying it could end a congressional deadlock over raising the U.S. borrowing limit.

Crude oil for August delivery rose 1.6 percent to settle at $97.50 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement since July 13.

The euro increased 0.3 percent to 1.4152 at 4:45 p.m. in New York after advancing as much as 0.7 percent. Some investors buy dollar-denominated assets to protect value when the dollar weakens against the euro and sell them when the dollar gains.

U.S. stocks rose as the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.6 percent. The 30-stock Micex Index advanced 0.7 percent to 1,700.13 in Moscow yesterday.

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