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Russian stocks almost flat as news flow perplex investors

MOSCOW, May 24 (PRIME) -- Russian stocks closed almost flat on Thursday as investors were perplexed by the external background and by the news flow around the U.S. trade wars with China, analysts said.

The MOEX Russia Index fell 0.07% to 2,294.01 and the RTS decreased 0.09% to 1,173.63.

УOn Thursday, the Russian market stopped its downward correction despite a continuous fall in oil prices due to the news flow of debt capital markets. On the one hand, the protocol of the May meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve System reflected more peaceful rhetoric than investors expected, and hinted at three increases of rates during 2018 instead of four raises,Ф Sofya Kirsanova, an analyst at managing company Raiffeisen Capital, said.

On the other hand, investors were concerned over the possibility of the trade war finally erupting between the U.S. and China as U.S. President Donald Trump announced readiness of Washington to introduce 25% duties on imports of cars into the country, Kirsanova said.

But Andrei Kochetkov, an analyst at Otkritie Broker, said that possible duties on Chinese cars would have no impact on the Russian market, so local players tracked other signals during the day.

УThe St. Petersburg economic forum is going on and we hear words about the necessity of structural reforms coming from the forum all the day, though government officials repeatedly speak about consistency of the policy. At the same time, the finance minister promised not to change the tax system over the next six years, and said that external conditions have already allowed for structural changes,Ф Kochetkov said.

Vasily Oleinik, an analyst at investment company Finam, said that the market players continued their preparations for the U.S.ЦChina trade war during the day after Trump said that Washington would have to use another approach to the trade with China other than the agreement that the countries were currently discussing.

Oleinik also said that shares of retailer Magnit grew 1.54% to 5,265 rubles group today after RussiaТs second largest bank VTB sold 11.82% in the company to Marathon Group of Alexander Vinokurov.

Below are the MOEX Russia IndexТ five most active stocks on Thursday:

Company Change, % Last price, rbl Trading volume, bln rbl
Sberbank +0.46 222.01 8.268
Gazprom -0.54 145.27 2.998
Magnit +1.54 5265.00 2.673
Lukoil -0.77 4230.00 2.412
Rosneft +0.08 378.00 1.622

(61.5945 rubles Ц U.S. $1)

24.05.2018 20:00
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