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Russian stocks close mixed as rubles exchange rate, oil price fall

MOSCOW, May 25 (PRIME) -- Russian stocks closed mixed on Friday undermined by contraction of the rubles exchange rate and of oil prices, but supported by the inflow of positive news from the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, analysts said.

The MOEX Russia Index rose 0.55% to 2,306.57 and the RTS decreased 0.32% to 1,169.93.

The oil price fell, but the external background remained moderately positive. Moreover, the St. Petersburg economic forum brought some important news, Andrei Kochetkov, an analyst at Otkritie Broker, said. The situation at European bourses was positive as North Korea expressed readiness to negotiations with U.S. President Donald Trump, he added.

Out of all the news from the forum, the most notable was about Frances Total acquiring a 10% stake in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) project Arctic LNG-2. The deal resulted in shares of the projects operator independent gas producer Novatek jumping 6.72% to 808.10 rubles, Kochetkov said.

The rubles exchange rate was unable to withstand the pressure of falling oil prices today, he added.

The Brent oil price plummeted 2.832% to U.S. $76.62 per barrel as of 6:12 p.m. Moscow time, according to the ICE exchange. The Moscow Exchanges data showed the ruble falling 53.75 kopecks to 62.1375 per U.S. dollar as of 6:08 p.m.

Yevgenia Abramovich, head of the currency risks research department at Swiss brokerage house Dukascopy Bank SA, said that oil prices were hit by concerns that OPEC and non-OPEC states may discuss a mechanism for withdrawing from the 2016 oil output reduction deal.

Despite a decrease in oil contracts, Russian oil companies grew today on expectations of liberalization of the domestic market. Russian stock indicators were mixed under the combined influence of the factors, Abramovich said.

Kochetkov also said that participants of the St. Petersburg forum discussed a large amount of infrastructurel projects, which made a positive impact on shares of metals companies. Steelmakers Severstal and Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK) gained 1.68% to 1,012 rubles.

Below are the MOEX Russia Index five most active stocks on Friday:

Company Change, % Last price, rbl Trading volume, bln rbl
Sberbank -0.91 220.00 11.082
Lukoil +0.43 4248.00 3.261
Gazprom -0.12 145.09 2.633
Novatek +6.72 808.10 2.268
Norilsk Nickel +1.93 11090.00 2.123

(61.4090 rubles U.S. $1)


25.05.2018 19:45
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