Micex Climbs to 1-Month High as Stimulus Bets Spur Risk Appetite

Russian stocks rose to a one-month high as speculation U.S. and European policy makers will take steps to boost growth stoked appetite for riskier assets.

The Micex Index rose 0.6 percent to 1,346.43 by the close in Moscow, the highest level since May 12. The gauge was closed for trading on June 11 and 12 due to public holidays. OAO Gazprom Neft added 3 percent and preferred shares of OAO Surgutneftegas gained 2.8 percent. OAO Sberbank, the nation’s biggest lender, climbed 1.8 percent.

U.S. stocks rallied yesterday after Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said he would support more stimulus. Euro-area aid of up to 100 billion euros ($125 billion) for Spain’s banks will help bolster financial stability, the European Central Bank said yesterday.

“The Russian market is gaining on the positive support signals from earlier this week,” Mark Rubinstein, the head of research at Metropol Ifc in Moscow, said by phone. “The support for Spanish banks is an important step.”

OAO Novatek, Russia’s second-biggest natural gas producer, rose 1.1 percent to 326.11 rubles, the fifth day of gains and the highest close in a month. The government may increase the natural-gas extraction tax for the company and oil producers at a slower rate than proposed by the Finance Ministry last month, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said today.

“There is hope that taxes will be lowered for Novatek,” Rubinstein said.

‘Firmly Fixated’

Russia-dedicated equity funds posted redemptions for the seventh week, registering a net outflow of $48 million in the week ended June 6, compared with $8.2 million in the week before, according to Troika Dialog, which cited EPFR Global data.

“Investors are very firmly fixated on any indication of further stimulus to come in the U.S. or Europe,” Chris Weafer, a strategist at Troika Dialog in Moscow, said in an e-mailed note.

Stocks pared gains earlier as retail sales in the U.S. fell in May for a second month after slower employment and subdued wage gains damped demand. Greece holds general elections on June 17 amid concern Europe’s fiscal crisis is spreading.

Crude, Russia’s biggest export earner, moved between gains and losses, retreating as much as 1.4 percent. Russia received almost 50 percent of budget revenue from oil and gas sales last year.

“Oil is not offering support to the market,” Mark Rubinstein, the head of research at Metropol Ifc in Moscow, said by phone. “The market will remain cautious before the Greek elections.”

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index rose 0.7 percent to 919.24. Russian stocks trade at 4.9 times estimated earnings, having lost 4 percent this year. That compares with a 0.3 percent gain for the MSCI Emerging-Market Index which trades at 9.4 times projected earnings.

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