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3 Jul, 2009 15:35

Russian stocks enter doldrums as investors wait for triggers

Russian stocks finished the week not far from where they started, with the shortened trading week in the U.S. helping to provide a respite after the sell off in June, ahead of the release of U.S. 2Q earnings reports.

After wearing a sharp correction in early June, the start of July has seen Russian stocks drift in the absence of major stimulus to buy or sell. A mid week spike in crude prices gave way to the news it was largely the result of a rogue trader in London, the heat under commodities turned to simmer and there were no major political announcements. That gave skittish investors a week of relative quietitude, according to Igor Prokhaev from Equity sales at Troika Dialog.

“The market is lacking triggers. So even this week when we saw a sell off in the market, that was done at very light volumes, and we don’t see any big significant accounts selling the market. Commodities can go sharply up. We can see the American market, the S&P especially is in a very good position from a technical point of view for growing. So these two factors, I think, could be the triggers for the markets going up.”

The coming week will see the start of 2Q corporate earnings reports in the U.S. Kevin Dougherty, portfolio manager at Pharos Financial Group says they will be closely watched, after their 1Q counterparts helped trigger the rally from March through to May.

“The global rally really started at the beginning of March, and that coincided with the US corporate earnings season then. When companies started to talk about how they were seeing better prospects emerging. So certainly the statements this time around are going to be very, very closely watched, and likely have a very big market impact.”

After the release of disastrous U.S. employment data, which helped send a shiver through global stock markets late in the week, good news to the upside may well see buyers return to the market – globally and in Russia. But further signs that the rally to May was taking stocks beyond economic fundamentals, particularly in major economies such as the U.S. and EU, with signs of Russia’s economic turnaround still to arrive, could see investors hold off a little longer yet.