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Russian Stocks Rally for Ninth Day on Ukraine Talks Optimism

The Micex Index rose for a ninth day, the longest winning streak since April 2010, as a planned meeting between the Russian and Ukrainian leaders next week boosted prospects for a de-escalation in the standoff.

The equities gauge climbed 0.7 percent to 1,447.50 at the close in Moscow, taking its nine-day advance to 8.6 percent. Thirty-seven stocks rose and 13 fell. OAO Mechel, the country’s biggest supplier of coking coal, jumped 8.8 percent to a two-week high, while OAO Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel climbed 8 percent, the most since October 2011.

While Ukrainian troops clashed with pro-Russian separatists in the country’s east in battles with tanks and artillery, the Kremlin said yesterday President Vladimir Putin will take part in an Aug. 26 meeting in Belarus attended by his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko. The talks may increase chances of a de-escalation of the tension that led to sanctions on Russian companies and lowered valuations on the Micex.

The scheduled talks “reinforce the hopes that have been building over the past few days that there might be a diplomatic solution to the conflict,” Neil Shearing, the chief emerging-market economist at Capital Economics Ltd., said by phone from London.

Stock valuations

Magnitogorsk soared after the price of iron ore for immediate delivery fell 0.8 percent.

“The stock is catching up with peers, iron-ore prices are falling and MMK is the only non-integrated stock in iron ore in Russia,” Kirill Chuyko, head of equity research at BCS Financial Group, said by e-mail from Moscow.

Truckmaker KamAZ and car producer AvtoVAZ rose after the government gave the former a guarantee and said it was ready to discuss steps to boost the auto market. KamAZ rose 11 percent, the most since September, while AvtoVAZ jumped 6 percent.

The Micex has addedd 0.2 percent since the end of February, before Russia’s incursion into Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula. The measure trades at 5.2 times estimated earnings, compared with a multiple of 5.3 before the intervention and making it the cheapest market among developing nations.

The dollar-denominated RTS Index climbed 0.5 percent to 1,257.41, the highest level since July 24.

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