Russian stocks advanced the most in seven weeks after oil gained on optimism Europe’s debt crisis will be contained and as U.S. Thanksgiving retail sales reached a record.
The 30-stock Micex Index surged 3.9 percent, the most since Oct. 6, to 1,466.22 by the 6:45 p.m. close in Moscow. OAO Sberbank, Russia’s biggest lender, jumped 5.8 percent. OAO Severstal, the nation’s largest steelmaker, rallied 6.2 percent while oil producer OAO Tatneft added 7.5 percent. The dollar-denominated RTS Index increased 4.4 percent to 1,475.25.
“Record Thanksgiving sales in the U.S. and rumors over the weekend of a $600 billion IMF loan to Italy set a positive note for today’s session,” Peter Szopo, head of research at Alfa Bank in Moscow, wrote in a report today.
The MSCI All-Country World Index added 3.2 percent at 10:48 a.m. in New York after La Stampa newspaper said the International Monetary Fund is preparing a 600 billion euro ($799 billion) loan for Italy in case its debt burden worsens. That report, which didn’t cite anyone, followed U.S. retail data that showed a 16 percent jump in Thanksgiving sales to a record. The IMF said it wasn’t discussing a rescue package with Italy.
“This rally, like all others will probably founder as soon as the next sovereign downgrade is announced or the next bond auction flops,” Julian Rimmer, a trader of Russian shares at CF Global Trading in London, wrote in e-mailed comments today.
The Micex has lost 13 percent this year, trading at 5.4 times analysts’ earnings estimates for member companies. That compares with a 19 percent slide for Brazil’s Bovespa index, which trades at 10.1 times estimated earnings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Shanghai Composite Index trades at 11.3 times estimated earnings, and the BSE India Sensitive Index has a ratio of 14.8.
Oil, Russia’s biggest export earner, climbed a second day as the Arab League’s decision to impose sanctions on Syria over its lethal crackdown on protesters raised concern about the stability of supplies from the Middle East. Crude oil for January delivery increased $2.60, or 2.7 percent, to $99.37 a barrel in New York.
OAO Rosneft, the nation’s biggest crude producer, advanced 5.2 percent to 217.21 rubles. Smaller rivals OAO Lukoil and OAO Gazprom Neft gained 4.2 percent and 2.3 percent to 1,712.2 rubles and 138.97 rubles, respectively.
United Co. Rusal, the world’s largest aluminum company, jumped 3.6 rubles to 222.71 rubles after announcing on Nov. 25 that it has agreed to buy a 33 percent stake in the trading affiliate of China North Industries Corp., or Norinco, to help boost Asian sales.
OAO Gazprom, the world’s biggest gas producer, increased 3.5 percent to 171.97 rubles. The state-run company on Nov. 25 agreed to cut prices for neighboring Belarus as part of a deal to gain the half of that country’s gas-pipeline network that it doesn’t already own.
VTB Group, the country’s second largest bank, increased 3.9 percent to 6.5 kopeks, while the largest, Sberbank, added 5.8 percent to 82.98 rubles after the ruble rallied against the dollar. A stronger ruble discourages Russians from converting savings into foreign currencies.