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Russian stock exchanges resume trading

Russian stock exchanges resume trading

Russia's battered stock exchanges resumed trading Tuesday after a one-day suspension, following assurances that a wide range of companies would benefit from a government rescue package.
The RTS index was up 1.7 percent one hour after the opening while the MICEX gained 0.9 percent. Blue chips at the MICEX were mixed. Gas giant Gazprom was 2.6 percent up, Russia's largest oil firm Rosneft was 2.4 percent lower and the country's largest private oil company, Lukoil, moved 2.2 percent higher.
The moderate gains at the start of the Tuesday session came as crude oil in New York inched up to $64. Declining Asian markets and volatile U.S. stocks spurred selling later in the morning.
Russian shares plummeted last week with blue chips losing 15 percent to 22 percent of their value in just one trading session. Financial regulators shut down the exchanges early and kept them closed until Tuesday. The MICEX dropped 14.2 percent on Friday while the other exchange, the RTS, shed 13.7 percent.
In an attempt to reassure investors, a senior Russian Cabinet official pledged Monday that every Russian company will get a chance to secure loans from the financial relief package.
Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said that rumors that the government would support some banks _ and not others _ were wrong. He also denied allegations that the government was trying to use the crisis to take control over companies, saying that the government is not going to "lay its hands on as much private property as possible."
Shuvalov also vehemently brushed off the rumors of a possible ruble devaluation, saying that the currency is not going to fall dramatically.
Tumbling oil prices, fears of the government's interference in the Russian business community and mounting economic woes in the West triggered huge falls on Russian trading floors in September and October. The dollar-denominated RTS is more than 77 percent off its May peak, while MICEX is almost 74 percent down.


Updated : 2021-05-09 01:37 GMT+08:00