RTS Futures Gain Along With Ruble as Oil Slips: Russia Overnight

Russian stock futures rose and the nation’s currency gained against the dollar-euro basket as oil slipped from a 14-month high. U.S. markets were closed for the Independence Day holiday.

Futures expiring in September on Moscow’s dollar-denominated RTS equity index advanced 0.2 percent during New York hours yesterday to 127,220, after the 50-stock Micex Index climbed 1.2 percent to a five-week high of 1,349.21 in Moscow. The RTS gauge increased 1.3 percent to 1,280.61 and the ruble rose 0.2 percent to 37.5437 against the basket used by Russia’s central bank to manage swings that erode exporter competitiveness.

“Russia could be positioned well for people trying to diversify their money out of other countries, people trying to avoid countries with a current-account deficit as Russia has a current-account surplus,” Daniel Salter, head of equity strategy at Renaissance Capital in London said by phone.

Oil and natural gas contribute about 50 percent of Russian government revenue. Crude futures fell 0.2 percent to $101.07 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, retreating from the highest level in 14 months, as the ouster of Egypt’s president without widespread violence eased concern of a supply disruption.

Brent crude for August settlement on the ICE Futures Europe exchange dropped 0.2 percent to $105.52 a barrel with trading volume 42 percent of the three-month daily average. Urals crude, Russia’s chief export blend, slipped 0.2 percent to $105.89.

U.S. Jobs

The ruble weakened 0.2 percent to 33.192 per dollar by the close of trading at 11:50 p.m. in Moscow, while futures showed the currency strengthening 0.2 percent to 29.75 per dollar.

United Co. Rusal, the world’s largest aluminum producer, rose 0.3 percent to HK$3.02 in Hong Kong trading as of 11:06 a.m. local time. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.6 percent today before data that may show the U.S. jobs market improved and after European policy makers signaled borrowing costs will be kept low.

U.S. employers added almost as many workers last month as in May and the jobless rate probably fell, according to Bloomberg surveys of economists. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi pledged yesterday to keep interest rates at a record low for an “extended period.” The rhetoric contrasts with that of the Federal Reserve, which has fueled a global stock and bond rout by signaling debt purchases could be scaled back this year.

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