Polyus Gold International Ltd. surged to a six-month high and Russian equity futures rose as prospects of more U.S. stimulus spurred demand for commodities.
The RTS stock-index futures climbed as the Bloomberg|
Russia-US Equity Index of the most-traded Russian companies in New York advanced to the highest level since May 3. Polyus Gold, Russia’s largest producer of the metal, rose 2.7 percent to $3.46. Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov’s Onexim Holdings Ltd. said it’s looking at selling some or all of its $4 billion stake in Polyus. Yandex NV, the owner of Russia’s most-used search engine, increased 4 percent to $23.40.
Commodities jumped to the highest level in four month and Brent oil advanced for a fifth day as almost two-thirds of economists in a Bloomberg survey forecast the Federal Reserve will announce a third round of bond purchases today. The central bank will also likely commit to hold interest rates close to zero into 2015, the survey showed. Russia, the world’s biggest producer of nickel and palladium, received half of its budget revenue from oil and gas last year.
“There is a strong demand for risky assets, including Russian stocks, as investors expect the Fed will announce a new round of stimulus measures,” Alexander Morozov, chief economist for Russia at HSBC Holdings Plc, said by phone from Moscow yesterday. “The Russian market is dominated by oil prices and expectation for new stimulus measures fuel bets of higher oil and commodities prices.”
Russia ETF Gains
The Market Vectors Russia ETF, the biggest U.S.-traded exchange-traded fund that holds Russian shares, gained 0.4 percent to $29.28 yesterday, the highest level since May 1. The RTS Volatility Index, which measures expected swings in the index futures, advanced 1.7 percent to 30.66.
RTS futures rose less than 0.1 percent to 148,345 in New York yesterday, climbing for a sixth consecutive session, the longest winning streak since Dec. 5. The Bloomberg gauge of the biggest Russian equities added 0.1 percent to 99.45.
The Federal Open Market Committee plans to release a statement today at about 12:30 p.m. in Washington after a two-day meeting. At 2 p.m., the Fed will release policy makers’ forecasts for unemployment, inflation and the expected path of the federal funds rate over the next several years. Bernanke plans to hold a press conference at about 2:15 p.m. in Washington today.
Polyus Gold gained 0.6 percent to 1,055.80 rubles, or $33.54, in Moscow yesterday, the highest level since July 4. In London, the stock climbed 0.6 percent to 216.25 pence, or $3,48, the highest level since its listing in June.
Onexim is holding preliminary talks with two potential buyers for stakes of less than 20 percent each in the London-listed gold producer, Prokhorov’s company said yesterday.
Billionaire Suleiman Kerimov, whose Nafta Moskva holds 40.2 percent of the gold producer, and Polymetal International Plc are involved in discussions, two people with knowledge of the matter said on Sept. 11. Nafta Moskva said yesterday it may back a buyer.
“It’s too early to talk about any market impact yet,” Valentina Bogomolova, an analyst at UralSib Financial Corp. in Moscow, said by phone in Moscow yesterday. “Everything will depend on who will buy the stake.”
Gold futures for December delivery fell 0.1 percent to $1,733.70 an ounce on the Comex in New York yesterday. They earlier rose to $1,749.50, the highest intraday level for the contract since Feb. 29.
‘Market Is Excited’
The central bank of Russia, the world’s biggest energy exporter, is expected to hold the refinancing rate at 8 percent, a quarter-point above the record low, at a meeting in Moscow today, according to 12 of 15 economists in a Bloomberg survey. Three forecast a quarter-point increase.
“The Russian central bank’s decision on the rates will have only a secondary impact on the market,” HSBC’s Morozov said yesterday.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Sept. 11 the Asian nation still has “ample strength” to use monetary or fiscal policy to boost growth in the biggest emerging economy.
“The market is excited by expectations for new stimulus measures in the U.S. and China,” UralSib’s Bogomolova said yesterday. “There is such a strong optimism in the market that the Fed will announce new stimulus measures.”
Massive stimulus measures in China are unlikely and would be “detrimental” to sustainable economic growth, the nation’s official Xinhua News Agency wrote in a commentary yesterday.
The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 commodities advanced 0.3 percent to 682.79 yesterday, to the highest level since May 1.
Brent oil for October settlement rose 0.5 percent to $115.96 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. It was the highest close since Aug. 16. Urals crude, Russia’s chief export blend, advanced 0.8 percent to $113.32 yesterday, the highest level since Aug. 23.
Oil in New York declined for the first time in six days after an Energy Department report showed an unexpected increase in U.S. crude inventories. Crude oil for October delivery declined 0.2 percent to $97.01 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are down 1.8 percent this year.
United Co. Rusal, the world’s largest aluminum producer, rose 2.4 percent to HK$4.20 in Hong Kong trading as of 11:20 a.m. local time. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.2 percent as investors awaited results from the Fed’s meeting.