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Stocks Slide and Bearish Bets Jump: Russia Overnight

Russian stocks dropped in U.S. trading for the first time in three days and bearish bets on the nation’s equities rose to a 20-month high as crude oil, the country’s top export earner, declined.

The Bloomberg Russia-US Equity Index of Russian stocks listed in New York slipped 0.9 percent to 108.51 yesterday, led by OAO Sberbank, Russia’s biggest lender, and coking coal producer OAO Mechel. The ratio of outstanding puts to sell the Market Vectors Russia exchange-traded fund, a U.S.-listed ETF that holds Russian shares, versus calls to buy rose to 2.2-to-1 yesterday, the highest level since July 2010, according to preliminary data compiled by Bloomberg. Futures on the RTS Index expiring in June fell 0.5 percent to 164,375 in the U.S.