Russia Stocks Rise on Stimulus Speculation, Rates Meeting
Russian stocks rose as investors awaited further stimulus measures from global policy makers and a German court allowed ratification of a bailout fund for Europe.
The Micex Index (INDEXCF) gained less than 0.1 percent to 1,478.54 by the close in Moscow, after adding as much as 0.4 percent earlier. The RTS Index (RTSI$) rose 0.2 percent to 1,482.51, the highest since May 10. Polyus Gold International Plc rallied as much as 4.6 percent on the Micex after Mikhail Prokhorov’s Onexim Holdings Ltd. confirmed it’s in talks with two potential buyers for the Russian billionaire’s stake in the gold producer. OAO Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel rose 2.4 percent. OAO MRSK Holding fell 3.1 percent, while OAO RusHydro dropped 2.4 percent.
The Federal Open Market Committee started a two-day meeting today amid speculation it may announce measures to stimulate the U.S. economy. Russia’s central bank holds a monetary policy meeting tomorrow. Stocks climbed to their highs of the day after Germany’s top constitutional court cleared the way for ratification of a European bailout fund intended to contain the debt crisis.
“The Russian market is waiting for the Fed committee’s decision tomorrow,” Viktor Markov, an analyst at Kapital Asset Management LLC, said by phone from Moscow. “Before we see any clear stimulus decisions, the market will be hanging in limbo.”
The dollar-denominated RTS gauge advanced for a fifth, closing on Sept. 10 more than 20 percent above this year’s low and surpassing threshold of a so-called bull market.
Russian monetary-policy makers will hold the refinancing rate at 8 percent, a quarter-point above the record low, according to 12 of 15 economists in a Bloomberg survey. Three forecast a quarter-point increase. The overnight auction-based repurchase rate and deposit rate will also be left unchanged, two separate surveys showed.
Growth in the world’s largest energy exporter slowed to 4 percent from a year earlier in the second quarter as China’s cooling expansion and Europe’s debt crisis sapped demand for Russian exports. Inflation accelerated in August as droughts in the U.S. and Russia stoked food prices, threatening to push price growth beyond the central bank’s 6 percent target.
OAO Mobile TeleSystems dropped 1.6 percent to 245.82 rubles. Russia’s largest mobile-phone operator declined the most since Aug. 23 after Vedomosti reported rival OAO Megafon may hold an initial public offering of shares in London next month.
Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of raw materials declined less than 1 percent to 680.64. Crude fell 0.3 percent to $96.89 in New York. Oil and gas contribute about 50 percent to Russia’s state revenue.
The Micex trades at 5.6 times estimated earnings and has rallied 5.4 percent this year. That compares with a multiple of 10 times and a 6.7 percent advance for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.
Russian equities have the lowest valuations based on estimated earnings among 21 emerging markets tracked by Bloomberg.
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