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Russia RTS Futures Little Changed as U.S. Manufacturing Hits Low

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Aug. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Russia’s RTS stock-index futures were little changed as a report that U.S. manufacturing almost stalled in July offset expectations that the U.S. House of Representatives may agree to raise the country’s debt ceiling.

Futures on the dollar-denominated index expiring in September fell less than 0.1 percent to 197,635 yesterday.

Contracts on OAO Lukoil, Russia’s second-biggest oil producer, rose 0.3 percent and those on VTB Group, Russia’s second-largest lender, dropped 0.1 percent. Futures on OAO Gazprom, the world’s largest gas producer, gained 0.2 percent.

The U.S. Institute for Supply Management’s factory index slumped to 50.9, the lowest since July 2009, from 55.3 a month earlier, the Tempe, Arizona-based group said today. Figures less than 50 signal a contraction. The July index was lower than the most pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg News survey.

The manufacturing report “was pretty bad, and that’s taken most risk markets down,” said Paul Biszko, an emerging-market strategist at RBC Capital Markets in Toronto, said in a phone interview. “There was initial euphoria about a fiscal agreement in the U.S., but people realize it’s not a done deal until the House votes.”

The House planned to vote yesterday on the agreement reached during a weekend of negotiations that capped a months-long struggle between President Barack Obama and Republicans over raising the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling. A failure to raise the ceiling opens the possibility that the U.S. would be forced to default.

Crude for September delivery slipped 0.5 percent to $95.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The euro weakened 1 percent, falling to $1.4257 in New York.

U.S. stocks dropped as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index retreated 0.4 percent. The 30-stock Micex Index gained 1.2 percent to 1,725.10 in Moscow yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Leon Lazaroff in New York at llazaroff@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net

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