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Russia’s Micex Advances to Four-Month High on U.S., China Bets

Russian stocks climbed to their highest in almost four months as investors bet the U.S. and Chinese economies will recover, lifting riskier assets.

The 50-stock Micex Index added 1.2 percent to 1,528.48 by the close in Moscow, its strongest since Sept. 17. Trading volume was 84 percent above its 30-day average. Oil producer OAO Surgutneftegas added 1.4 percent, while OAO Bank Vozrozhdenie jumped 6.9 percent. Power utilities OAO Moscow United Electric Grid and OAO OGK-2 surged 9.8 percent and 11 percent, respectively.

U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said the central bank should continue to support economic recovery. China’s exports jumped 14.1 percent in December, according to data last week.

“Optimism on the recovery of China’s economy is rising to very high levels on the back of the unexpectedly strong data on foreign trade trends,” UralSib Financial Corp. analysts Slava Smolyaninov and Natalia Berezina wrote in an e-mailed report today.

OAO Sberbank, the country’s largest lender, topped 100 rubles for the first time since March, adding 1.4 percent to 101 rubles.

Uralkali Output

OAO Uralkali, the biggest potash producer by output, closed up 0.8 percent at 233.13 rubles, after climbing as much as 2.2 percent earlier. The shares pared gains after the company said its 2012 output fell 16 percent compared with the year before. Belarusian Potash Co., Uralkali’s trading arm, agreed “in principal” on the main terms of a contract with China, industry researcher Agrus FMB Potash said in a weekly report Jan. 11.

The Market Vectors Russia ETF, the largest dedicated Russian exchange-traded fund, rose 0.8 percent to $30 today. The ETF fell 2.7 percent last week.

The Micex trades at about 5.6 times estimated earnings. That compares with a multiple of 10.9 times for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.

Russian equities have the lowest valuations based on estimated earnings among 21 emerging markets tracked by Bloomberg. Oil and natural gas contribute about half of Russia’s budget revenue.

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