Russian stocks ease on sanction risks, mixed environment
MOSCOW, Feb 18 (PRIME) -- Russian stocks eased on Monday under the unyielding pressure of sanction risks, while the external background was mixed and provided no strong drivers for the market, analysts said.
The MOEX Russia Index fell 0.71% to 2,472.41 and the RTS slipped 0.04% to 1,177.04.
“The Russian stock indices fell right from the opening of trade. The risks connected with the new sanctions are again exerting pressure on the Russian assets, as they may cover many new projects and impose restrictions on new issues of Russia’s sovereign debt…Unfortunately, the risks will only grow for all Russian assets in the coming weeks, so investors should not hurry with purchases,” Vasily Oleinik, analyst at investment company Finam, said.
A large sum of money has come to Russia-dedicated funds since the beginning of 2019, and the current capital flight due to the new risks may take up to several weeks, Oleinik added.
Anastasia Sosnova, Freedom Finance’s analyst, said that the Asian floors were in the green zone today thanks to the progress in trade negotiations between China and the U.S., but the sanction risks eliminated all the support the market could have received from that. “In the foreseeable future, the Russian market would look weaker than the global market (due to the risks,” Sosnova said.
“The Asian optimism clashed with Europe’s concerns over the upcoming U.S. tariffs on car imports. The U.S. Treasury may have recommended that the Donald Trump’s administration raise tariffs on car imports by 25%, which may push German exports to the U.S. down by a whopping by 50%. This also covers the Russian companies that export materials for the European car producers to a significant extent,” Andrei Kochetkov, Otkritie Broker’s analyst, said.
The concerns over the car imports resulted in sales in not only steelmakers, but also producers like Norilsk Nickel, which lost 0.65% to 13,660 rubles, Kochetkov said.
A recent affirmation of Russia’s investment rating by international rating agency Fitch was not enough to prompt purchases on the local market, as sanction risks bring uncertainty. This attitude of investors was reflected in the banking sector, as well as in gas giant Gazprom, which fell 1.64% to 156.43 rubles, Kochetkov added.
Below are the MOEX Russia Index’ five most active stocks on Monday:
|Company||Change, %||Last price, rbl||Trading volume, bln rbl|
(66.7044 rubles – U.S. $1)