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Russian Stocks and New Sanctions; Rubles Stabile

Russian stock indexes returned to rise after a brief drop in early trading on Wednesday, avoiding threats of new Western sanctions in response to Moscow’s “special military operation” in Ukraine while the ruble stabilized. The shares essentially lost their place at the opening; Because the US and its allies have prepared new sanctions against Moscow that will target Russian banks and officials; It also bans new investments in Russia.

An EU official said the EU would also have to take action against Russian oil and gas imports. It will be a means of putting pressure on Moscow. The dollar-denominated RTS index fell to 979.34 points; Before, there were losses, and 0.4% added today to 1,008.9 points. The Russian ruble-based MOEX index also rose 0.4% to 2,674.1. The Russian stock market is driven by the negative mood caused by the news about the new Western sanctions.

The downside for the Russian market may be limited. The government has promised to support Russian companies by purchasing their shares with money allocated from the Rainy Days National Wealth Fund. Shares of Russian oil producer Lukoil rose 3.5% and outperformed the broader market. Gazprom Neft added 2.5%. The banks were in the red. Sberbank lost 2.2% and VTB 3.4% of the two significant lenders.

The Russian ruble changed slightly to $83.42; it increased by 1.1% and traded at 90.52 euros. It was close to the levels that Russia sent tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine on February 24.

Weekly inflation data will be in the spotlight at the end of the day. If inflation shows signs of slowing, it could boost the central bank’s chances of lowering interest rates at its next board meeting in late April. The latter can be positive for OFZ treasury bonds. At the same time, geopolitical risks and ruble variability limit the likelihood of this scenario.




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