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Russia Stocks Climb as Urals Crude Trades Near Three-Month High

Aug. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Russian stocks rose as crude traded near its highest in three months, boosting appetite for equities in the world’s biggest energy exporter.

The Micex Index climbed 0.8 percent to 1,452.42 by the close in Moscow, paring an earlier gain of as much as 1.8 percent. OAO Magnit, Russia’s biggest food retailer, jumped 3.3 percent. OAO Novatek, the country’s second-largest gas producer, added 2.1 percent. VTB Group, the second-biggest lender, climbed 0.7 percent.

Urals crude, Russia’s main export blend, traded little change at $113.64 a barrel after the U.S. said one of its guided-missile destroyers collided with an oil tanker near the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf. Israel will hold home defense drills this week as the Haaretz daily reported the nation is considering a strike against Iran over its nuclear program.

A “rise in oil prices stemming from political risks in the Middle East” is a “positive factor for Russia equities,” Alexander Kovalev, a TKB Capital analyst based in Moscow, wrote in an e-mailed report today.

OAO Rosneft, Russia’s biggest oil producer, increased 1.1 percent to 202.86 rubles while OAO Gazprom, the natural gas export monopoly, advanced 0.9 percent to 155.1 rubles.

The Micex trades at 5.4 times estimated earnings after gaining 3.6 percent this year. That compares with a multiple of 10 times for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, which has added 6.2 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jason Corcoran in Moscow at jcorcoran13@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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