Russian Stocks Head for Biggest Monthly Drop in Eight on Oil

Russian stocks rose, trimming their biggest monthly decline since September, as crude oil, the country’s biggest export earner, pared its sharpest monthly drop in more than three years.

The Micex Index added 1.4 percent to 1,326.70 by 11:20 a.m. in Moscow, bringing its montly retreat to 10 percent, the most since September. OAO Rosneft, Russia’s biggest oil company, rose 1.9 percent. OAO Sberbank, the country’s largest lender, retreated 0.2 percent after the ruble dropped to 33 per dollar in intraday trading for the first time in three years.

Crude for July delivery climbed 0.3 percent to $88.07 a barrel in electronic trading in New York after dropping 3.2 percent yesterday to the weakest level since Oct. 21. Prices are down 16 percent this month, the biggest drop since December 2008. Russia, the world’s biggest energy exporter, relies on oil and gas sales for about 50 percent of its budget revenue.

Rosneft advanced 1.4 percent to 207 rubles, cutting its monthly drop to 1.5 percent. OAO Lukoil, the second-biggest oil producer, added 1.5 percent to 1,731 rubles, poised for a 3.8 percent decline this month.

Sberbank, the biggest holder of Russian retail deposits, dropped 0.2 percent to 82.32 rubles. The ruble weakened as much as 0.8 percent to 33.0048 per dollar, heading for its weakest closing level since April 2009.

Russian stocks trade at 4.9 times estimated earnings, having lost 5.6 percent this year. That compares with a 1.3 percent drop for the MSCI Emerging-Market Index which trades at 9.2 times projected earnings.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index fell 0.4 percent to 904.13 today, while the MSCI BRIC Index of shares traded in India, Brazil, Russia and China, dropped 0.6 percent.

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