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Russia Stocks Climb Second Day as Oil Rises on Earnings Optimism

Russian stocks gained for a second day as oil climbed after Alcoa Inc. kicked off the U.S. earnings season with better-than-expected sales, boosting appetite for riskier assets.

The 50-stock Micex Index climbed less than 0.1 percent to 1,516.01 as of 6:45 p.m. in Moscow. OAO Bank Vozrozhdenie surged 5.2 percent. OAO Dixy Group, a retailer, added 2.4 percent while miner OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel gained 2.3 percent.

The Micex surged 2.7 percent on its first trading day of 2013 yesterday as local equities caught up with gains on global markets at the start of the year after U.S. lawmakers agreed to a deal to avert automatic spending cuts. Crude, Russia’s main export, rose 39 cents to $93.54 a barrel in New York.

“The upward trend since the start of the year reflects the partial success attained by the U.S. in postponing the fiscal-cliff challenge,” Yaroslav Lissovolik, head of research at Deutsche Bank AG in Moscow, wrote in an e-mailed report today. “Alcoa also started the earnings season on a relatively positive note.”

Alcoa, the largest U.S. aluminum producer, reported better-than-estimated sales and said demand for the metal in China will gain 11 percent this year.

Emerging-market stocks rose for the first time in four days. Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the next BOJ governor should support bold monetary easing. Data today showed German industrial output rebounded in November less than economists estimated, while European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and his board meet tomorrow.

“Russia is part of this risk-on, risk-off dynamic that’s affecting the whole world at the moment,” Ian Hague, a founding partner at Firebird Management LLC, which manages $1.3 billion, including investments in Russian equities, said by phone in New York yesterday.

Razgulay, VEB

OAO Razgulay, a sugar and gain producer, jumped as much as 7.1 percent after state development bank VEB agreed to swap debt for shares in the company. The stock closed up 3.7 pecent at 13.94 rubles.

The Micex trades at about 5.4 times estimated earnings. That compares with a multiple of 10.8 times for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.

Russian equities have the lowest valuations based on estimated earnings among 21 emerging markets tracked by Bloomberg. Russia receives about half of its budget revenue from oil and natural gas industry sales.

-- Editors: Alex Nicholson, Gavin Serkin

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