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23 Oct, 2008 04:41

Russian stocks mixed on Thursday after continuing sell off in Asia

Russian stocks mixed on Thursday after continuing sell off in Asia

Russia’s RTS and Micex exchanges were mixed during Thursday lunchtime trading despite further falls overnight on Wall Street and a poor performance in Asia on Thursday.

Key drivers on the markets are the continuing slide in oil prices and the continued strength of the U.S. dollar against nearly every major currency including the Ruble.

In the U.S. on Wednesday Energy department inventory data showed a rise of 3.18 million barrels, the fourth straight weekly increase. This initially saw crude prices head lower with both Brent and Nymex futures below $65 BBL.  Subsequent to this, calls by Iranian Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari for a cut of up to 2 million barrels per day when OPEC meets in Vienna on Friday saw prices firm back over $65 BBL from a 16 month low.   Russian energy stocks are down on the day, but with losses pared by the comments, and at 12.30 on the Micex Lukoil is down 3.5%, with Surgutneftegaz down1.6% and Gazprom down 1.5%.

Also down on global markets are most commodities with gold continuing its recent falls.  Despite this Russia’s largest gold producer Polyus Gold is up 2.2% at 12.30 on the Micex.  Polymetal is down 4.7% with Aeroflot down 3.6%.

The share movements in Russia come in the wake of renewed falls in Asia where the Nikkei was down 2.4% at the close with the Hang Seng 3.5% lower.  Early trade in Europe sees the FTSE .5% higher after an initial sell off, the Dax .3% lower and the cac up .2% in volatile trade.

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