Market Buzz: A lone wind – up of the best trading week

Reuters/Andrea Comas
Trading in Russian floors is expected to be sluggish on Saturday, as all other major exchanges will be closed for a normal weekend. Investors in the country will be largely reflecting the news of the past week, which was the best so far this year.

Russian floors will have a full trading session on Saturday to compensate for the following 3 – day holiday for the country’s national day. Among the factors at play is a macro report from China, which will reflect into both the oil price and the rouble rate, according to Chris Weafer, a chief strategist at Troika Dialog.

Both the RTS and the MICEX finished Friday's session in the red. The RTS was down 1.75% to stand at 1,281.10, with the MICEX losing 0.26% to end at 1, 332.92.

With Brent crude holding near $100/bbl, the Russian rouble added another 42 kopecks against the dollar in Friday currency trading to end at 32.66 roubles. WTI was at around $84/bbl.

Globally, the markets started to enter the black on Friday after the US government said businesses were restocking their shelves faster than analysts had expected. The Commerce Department said U.S. wholesale stockpiles grew 0.6% in April – twice the pace of  March.


The Dow finished 93.24 points higher, or 0.75%, at 12,554.20. It ended the week up almost 3.6%. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 10.67 points, or 0.81%, to close at 1,325.66. The Nasdaq composite rose 27.40 points, or 0.97%, to close at 2,858.42.

In Asia, markets were down, Shanghai's stock index lost 0.5%, its fifth day of losses. Japan's Nikkei fell 2.1%.

Chinese leaders have been showing signs of urgency ahead of May trade and industrial data due out this weekend that might be even weaker than earlier pessimistic forecasts. The Chinese government cut interest rates for the first time in four years and has reduced gasoline and diesel prices for the second time in a month. Over the long run, that will put more money in the pockets of Chinese consumers. In the short run it's a sign that the government is worried about growth.

``That shows they're being proactive, but on the other hand, it also makes you wonder, what's the data really like?'' said Uri Landesman, president of Platinum Partners. ``I'm wondering how bad the data's going to be. I'd be very surprised if it's good.''

China is a key U.S. trade partner, which makes its growth important to U.S. companies. Its importance is magnified by the possibility that Europe's economy will go from slow growth to shrinkage, Landesman said.

Major European markets fell, although their declines were smaller after the U.S. inventory news came out.
Britain's FTSE 100 and the DAX  in Germany both fell 0.2%. France's CAC 40 declined 0.6%.