Market Buzz: The holiday doldrums

Employees of the ATON Investment Company (RIA Novosti / Grigory Sysoev)
Russian stocks are expected to gain in Wednesday trading, after the unexpected fall on Tuesday.

Russian indices closed in the red on Tuesday, with MICEX losing 0.28% to reach 1,386.14 and RTS falling 1.12% to 1,397.65.

Markets in this country are still suffering losses from political risks, explains Nikita Ignatenko of Investcafe. The upbeat message from Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who said the budget surplus could reach 1% of GDP in 2011, did not inspire investors, says Ignatenko.

The main blue chips were falling, with Gazprom losing 1.3%, Sberbank falling 2% and Avtovaz losing 2.4%.

Foreign markets remain pretty quiet, with all eyes mostly on the placement of Italian bonds for around 20 billion euro and scheduled for December 28 – 29.

French CAC grew just marginally on Tuesday, up 0.03%, with German DAX adding 0.2%. S&P index was also up 0.008%, with Dow Jones, however, falling 0.02%.

“Europe and the USA are recovering from Christmas holidays and are making prepared for the New Year celebrations,” explains Ignatenko.

The December statistics on consumer confidence from the USA was positive, showing the index rose to 64.5 from 58.3 a month earlier. However, it did not have any effect on Russia’s stocks, as it was released after markets in Russia finished trading, explained Kirill Markin, a colleague of Ignatenko.

Overall, trading during the last days of 2011 is not expected to bring many surprises, as investors are leaving the floors. “But already on Wednesday a positive is most likely to come back again, with neutral market sentiment indirectly pointing to that,” Ignatenko concludes.