Market Buzz: Russia increases gold reserves

Market Buzz: Russia increases gold reserves
Russian equities recovered from a two day slump Friday, as the 50-member MICEX advanced 0.17 percent and the dollar-based RTS index gained 0.09 percent.

Russia’s second largest lender, VTB, jumped 0.15 percent, and Rosneft, the world's largest publicly-traded oil company, rose 1.02 percent. Gazprom, Sberbank, and Norilsk Nickel all traded down.

The Russian ruble has a lot of ground to make up this week, as on Friday it dropped for a fifth-consecutive day, currently down 0.4 percent against the dollar at 32.8348. 

The Russian federation added 0.3 tonnes of gold reserves in June, bringing their total to 996.4 tonnes, a nine-consecutive-month increase, IMF data shows. Gold continues to advance on the COMEX in New York, and is currently priced at 1,327.15

WTI Crude oil futures hit a two-and-a-half week low on Friday, and settled in New York at $104.63 per barrel by the end of trading. Brent also slid 0.1 percent to $107.11

US stocks finished high on Friday on earnings, positive consumer index data, and lower inflation predictions. The Dow Jones finished up 0.02 percent, the S&P 500 increased 0.08 percent, and the NASDAQ climbed 0.22 percent. The markets will await US data on pending home sales.

European stocks finished mixed. The Euro Stoxx 50 added 1.67 percent to 2,741.96, the DAX dropped 0.65 percent to 8,244.91, France’s CAC 40 gained 0.32 percent to 3,968.84, and London’s FTSE 100 dropped 0.50 percent to 6,554.79.

The UK will release official data on individual net lending.

Asian stocks are mostly lower, as Japan’s Nikkei continues its plunge, down 2.26 percent, followed by the Hong Kong Hang Seng, which is down 0.58 percent. The Shanghai Composite is trading down 1.49 percent.

Australia’s ASX 200 continues its strong run in July, up 0.04 percent on lower metal prices.