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Russia Stocks Fall After U.S. Data, Paring 1st Weekly Gain in 5

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Aug. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Russian stocks fell, paring their first weekly gain in five, after worse-than-expected U.S. data stoked concern the economic recovery will slow.

The Micex Index dropped 0.3 percent to 1,393.21 by the close in Moscow, giving it a weekly increase of 0.9 percent. OAO Gazprom, Russia’s natural-gas export monopoly, sank 0.8 percent and OAO Lukoil, the country’s second-biggest oil producer, lost 0.5 percent. The two stocks have a 30 percent weighting in the gauge. OAO Raspadskaya, a coal producer, closed up 2.6 percent at 31.32 rubles.

Purchases of new U.S. homes plunged in July by the most in more than three years and previous months were revised down, a sign that growth in the industry may be taking a pause as mortgage rates rise. Russia’s stocks are down 3.8 percent since May 22 when U.S. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the central bank may start paring stimulus.

“The risk for the EM equities and currencies is on the downside at least until the ‘tapering’ of quantitative easing takes a more specific and quantifiable form,” Vladimir Savov an analyst at Otkritie Financial Corp. in Moscow, said in an e-mailed note.

Companies on the Micex trade at 5.3 times average 12-month estimated earnings, compared with a multiple of 9.9 for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. The volume of shares traded on the Micex was 37 percent below the 30-day average, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Sechin Buys

The U.S. data offset a 1.2 percent jump in the price of Brent crude oil. The oil and gas industries contribute about 50 percent of Russia’s state revenue.

OAO Rosneft, which has a 4.8 percent weighting in the stock measure, advanced for a third day, adding 0.7 percent to 235.43 rubles. The company’s Chief Executive Officer Igor Sechin acquired shares in the company for the first time and has a 0.0075 percent holding in the state-run company, according to a regulatory filing today.

The Bloomberg Russia-US Equity gauge gained 0.4 percent to 92.45 today. The Market Vectors Russia ETF, the largest exchange-traded fund dedicated to Russian equities, increased 0.3 percent to $26.66. The RTS volatility index, which measures expected swings in the stock futures, retreated 2.8 percent today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Nicholson in Moscow at anicholson6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Wojciech Moskwa at wmoskwa@bloomberg.net