Micex Climbs to Trade Up 19% From Low as Bank Stocks Advance

The Micex Index climbed to a three-month high, erasing earlier losses after U.S. data beat estimates, bolstering investor demand for riskier assets. VTB Group and OAO Sberbank led gains.

Russia’s benchmark equities gauge added 0.6 percent to 1,472.83 by the close in Moscow, the highest since Feb. 25, after falling as much as 1 percent earlier. The index is up 19 percent from this year’s March 14 low and jumped 9.6 percent in May. Sberbank rose 1.1 percent, while VTB climbed 3 percent.

The Micex erased declines as U.S. factory orders rose 0.7 percent in April, exceeding forecasts for a 0.5 percent increase. Russian assets have rebounded to levels seen before President Vladimir Putin’s incursion into Crimea as the prospect of tougher sanctions from the U.S. and the EU fades.

“The market climbed on good U.S. data,” Vadim Bit-Avragim, who helps oversee about $4.1 billion at Kapital Asset Management LLC in Moscow, said by e-mail. “The data signals economic growth and that equity-market rise is justified.”

Putin said before Ukraine’s May 25 presidential election that he was ready to work with the new head of state, acting to assuage concerns that tension between the two nations may trigger a new Cold War with the U.S. and its allies.

Yandex Listing

Yandex NV, Russia’s largest search-engine operator, has obtained a Moscow stock listing, and will start trading on the Moscow Exchange from tomorrow under the YNDX ticker in rubles, the company said in a statement. The shares rose 1.6 percent in U.S. trading as of 11:42 a.m. in New York.

Bank St. Petersburg jumped 4.6 percent to 36.92 rubles in Moscow. First-quarter net interest income rose to 4.09 billion rubles ($117 million) from 2.99 billion rubles a year earlier, the company said today.

The bank “posted good results,” Kirill Yankovskiy, director for equity sales at UralSib Capital, said by e-mail.

OAO Mechel, the nation’s biggest coking-coal producer, advanced as much as 10 percent before closing up 6.5 percent at 49.30 rubles. The stock fell 2.5 percent yesterday and is down 26 percent this year.

Mechel reduced its debt load by $400 million this year through mid-May, cutting it to $8.3 billion, Interfax reported yesterday, citing Chief Executive Officer Oleg Korzhov.

Ninety-day historical volatility on the Micex climbed to 30 today, the highest since January 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The 14-day relative strength index on the Micex rose to 68, approaching the level of 70 that some analysts say signals a security is overbought.

Russian stocks trade at 5.3 times estimated 12-month earnings, the cheapest among 21 emerging markets tracked by Bloomberg.

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