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31 Oct, 2008 13:33

Russian stocks edge higher in Friday trade

Russian stocks edge higher in Friday trade

Russia’s RTS and Micex exchanges took the foot off the accelerator pedal on Friday as easing crude prices and a more subdued global outlook added a note of caution after Thursdays double digit percentage gains. At the close the RTS was 1.9% higher.

Crude prices easing back towards the low $60’s BBL range dampened the outlook for Russian energy majors, with Nymex and Brent crude futures trimming more than 1% in Friday trade on renewed concern that a faltering U.S. economy will hit demand in the worlds largest oil consuming economy.  In Russia that translated into minor gains for Rosneft (up 2.6% on the Micex), Lukoil (up 5%) and GazpromNeft (up8.5%), along with a 2% gain for Gazprom.

Norilsk Nickel gained 13% with Raspadskaya up 10%. Polyus Gold lost 2.1% with gold falling on global markets, and steelmakers MMK (up1.6%) and Severstal (up 1.5%) gained, while counterpart NLMK (down1%) closed lower.  VTB (down 0.95%) and Sberbank (down 3.2%) closed lower, while RusHydro added more than 4%, with Kamaz adding 8%.

In the retail and consumer goods sector Magnit (up 6.3%) and Wimm Bill Dann (up 11.7%) gained, while Sedmoi Kontinent (down 25%) and Dixy (down 10%) closed lower.

The Russian trading day came after Asian markets had posted falls on renewed concern about the U.S. economy.  In Tokyo the Nikkei lost 5% despite the Bank of Japan trimming its key interest rate from 0.5% to 0.3%, and the Hang Seng closed 2.5% down.  In London investors were similarly hesitant with commodity prices resuming their downward trend on the back of a resurgent U.S. dollar, and a profit warning from BT adding to the gloom, with Barclays capital raising not impressing, before resources rebounded mid afternoon.  In Mid afternoon the FTSE 100 was up 0.5% with Tullow oil higher and BT and Barclays leading the falls.  On the continent the Cac 40 was 0.6% higher mid afternoon with Axa and L’Oreal down and Credit Agricole up.  In Frankfurt the Dax was more than 2% higher, Mid afternoon with BASF and Bayer up, and Allianz and Commerzbank down.

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