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Russia Stocks Climb First Day in Four on Crude, Severstal Profit

Russian stocks advanced for the first time in four days as oil jumped the most this month and OAO Severstal’s earnings beat analyst estimates.

The Micex Index of 30 shares rallied 1.9 percent to 1,496.60 by the end of trading in Moscow, its biggest daily increase since March 11. Severstal, Russia’s second-largest steelmaker, surged 5.7 percent, its strongest advance since Jan. 3 and the biggest gainer on the Micex gauge today. The Russian Depositary Index of London-traded shares of Russian companies added 2 percent to 1,762.32.

Urals crude, Russia’s main export earner, added 1 percent to $115.11 a barrel, its best advance since April 2. Oil and gas account for about 50 percent of Russian government revenue. Severstal said its fourth-quarter profit climbed 7.9 percent to $463 million, beating the average analyst estimate of $390 million.

OAO Rosneft, Russia’s biggest oil company, rose 2 percent to 215.35 rubles, its highest level since March 16, after Citigroup Inc. upgraded the stock to buy from neutral and made it its “top pick” today. OAO Lukoil, the country’s second-largest oil producer, rose 1.5 percent to 1,800.70 rubles, its first gain since April 11.

The Market Vectors Russia ETF, a U.S.-traded fund that holds Russian shares, rose 2 percent to $30.22 in New York.

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