March 30 (Bloomberg) -- The Micex Index advanced for the first time in four days as international investors opted for Russian shares over Chinese and Brazilian stocks and prices climbed for oil, the country’s main export.
The 30-stock Micex jumped 1.5 percent to 1,517.34 in Moscow by the 6:45 p.m. close in Moscow, trimming this week’s loss to 1.5 percent. United Co. Rusal, the world’s largest aluminum producer, jumped as much as 8.4 percent before closing 3.4 percent higher. OAO Transneft, the national oil-pipeline operator, and crude producer OAO Gazprom Neft each gained at least 3 percent.
Russian funds attracted a net $203 million of new money last week, an increase of $72 million from the previous period, while emerging-market funds as a whole saw outflows of $127 million, Chris Weafer, chief strategist at Troika Dialog in Moscow, said in a research note, citing EPFR Global data.
“The reason for the reversal is very clearly China growth concerns,” Weafer said. Chinese officials are struggling to reverse a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy and a manufacturing index to be released this weekend may remain close to the dividing line between expansion and contraction, a median estimate of 50.8 in a survey of economists shows.
Russian stocks rebounded after yesterday’s decline to their lowest level in more than two months as commodity prices slumped amid concern Europe’s debt crisis will deteriorate and curb bets for riskier assets.
Oil advanced in New York, heading for a second quarterly gain, after reports showed that U.S. consumer sentiment and spending gained and euro-finance ministers agreed to boost rescue funds. Crude for May delivery gained as much as 0.9 percent to $103.69 a barrel.
OAO Mechel, a producer of coal for steelmakers, climbed 3.1 percent to 268.60 rubles, rebounding after yesterday’s 6.1 percent retreat. The company said yesterday it is seeking waivers from lenders because it will probably breach debt covenants for 2011 on account falling coal prices.
OAO Gazprom, supplier of a quarter of Europe’s natural gas, increased 2.3 percent to 181.08 rubles. The state-run company and partners, including Royal Dutch Shell Plc, said today they had recouped $24.5 billion of investment in their Sakhalin-2 venture off Russia’s Pacific coast and are now sharing profits with the government.
Copper, set for the biggest quarterly gain since 2010, rose in New York on signs of U.S. economic expansion.
OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest producer of the metal, rallied 1 percent to 5,400 rubles.
The Micex is up 8.2 percent this year, posting a second quarterly gain. That compares with a 12 percent advance for Brazil’s Bovespa Index, 13 percent for the BSE India Sensitive Index and 2.1 percent for China’s Shanghai Composite Index.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jack Jordan in Moscow at email@example.com.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at firstname.lastname@example.org