Russian stocks swung between gains and losses as concern about the European debt crisis sent the price of crude oil lower.
The 30-stock Micex was up less than 0.1 percent to 1,560.62 by 12:18 p.m. in Moscow, having earlier dropped as much as 0.4 percent. The gauge advanced 2.3 percent yesterday, the most since Jan. 3. OAO Inter RAO UES, Russia’s state-controlled power generator and exporter, fell 1.1 percent. The dollar-denominated RTS Index fell 0.6 percent to 1,636.36.
Oil, Russia’s main export revenue earner, retreated from a five-week high, falling as much as 54 cents to $100.37 a barrel in New York after Moody’s Investors Service cut the debt ratings of six European countries and revised its outlook to “negative” for the U.K. and France. The European Union is Russia’s biggest trading partner.
OAO Sberbank, Russia’s biggest lender, fell 0.5 percent to 95.73 rubles, retreating from its highest closing level since Aug. 4, as the ruble depreciated 0.6 percent to 30.08 against the dollar.
The Micex is up 11 percent this year and trades at 6 times analysts’ earnings estimates for member companies. Brazil’s Bovespa index, which is valued at 10.6 times estimated earnings, has climbed 16 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Shanghai Composite Index trades at 9.6 times estimated earnings, and the BSE India Sensitive Index has a ratio of 15.9.