Feb. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Russian stocks rose to a high of more than two weeks as commodity producers in the world’s biggest energy exporter advanced on bets Chinese growth will support demand.
The Micex Index increased 0.8 percent to 1,496.03 by the close in Moscow, the highest level since Jan. 23. Crude producers OAO Tatneft and OAO Surgutneftegas rose at least 1.5 percent. OAO Novatek, the nation’s second-biggest natural-gas producer, added 1.6 percent to 416.14 rubles.
China’s export and import growth accelerated in January, the General Administration of Customs said today, helping spur an increase of 0.7 percent in Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of commodities. Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen said yesterday the U.S. economy is picking up and reiterated the outlook for “measured steps” in stimulus cuts.
“Today you had very good data on Chinese trade helping commodities,” Renata Klita, an analyst at Blackfriars Asset Management Ltd., said by e-mail. “Yesterday’s comments from the Fed that they would be careful with tapering sparked all emerging markets.”
Oil, Russia’s chief export earner, gained as much as 0.8 percent to $109.50 a barrel in London. Russia receives about half of its budget revenue from oil and natural gas sales.
While the Fed pressed ahead with stimulus cuts in January, policy makers have also sought to reassure investors they intend to hold its target rate near a record low. The Micex Index advanced an average 77 percent during the Fed’s first two rounds of debt purchases, and fell 0.6 percent in periods of no stimulus, the biggest difference of 46 emerging and developed markets tracked by Bloomberg.
“There’s appetite for risk, the main stress factors seem to have been relieved,” Kirill Chuyko, BCS Financial Group’s head of equity research, said by phone from Moscow.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index rose 1 percent to 954.41 today. MSCI Inc. is scheduled to announce its quarterly index rebalancing results after the market close today.
Consumer services shares led the advance among eight Micex industry groups, rising 1.8 percent on average. OAO Magnit, the nation’s biggest food retailer, climbed 1.9 percent, the most since Jan. 31, to 8,409.80 rubles.
“The consumer sector remains attractive despite the economic slowdown as long as people continue to shop for food,” Evgeny Golosnoy, an analyst at IFC Metropol, said by phone from Moscow.
Bank Rossii will probably leave its main one-week rate unchanged at 5.5 percent on Feb. 14, according to all 22 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Russia’s economy grew at less than half the previous year’s pace in 2013, falling short of economist forecasts as investment sagged and demand weakened for oil and natural gas.
The dollar-denominated RTS Index gained 0.8 percent to 1,353.17. Russian equities have the cheapest valuations among 21 developing-nation economies monitored by Bloomberg. Shares on the Micex trade at 3.2 times projected 12-month earnings, compared with a multiple of 9.3 for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.
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