Australian (ASX) Stock Market Forum

Russian stock market opens March 24 2022 first time since start of war

The ruble-based MOEX Russia index extended early gains and closed 1.3% higher at 2,975 on Tuesday, progressing for a third session to levels last seen since the Russian invasion of Ukraine triggered a stock market crash in February 2022.

Gains were broad-based across all main sectors of Moscow’s exchange, with major oil companies benefiting from a shrinking Urals-Brent spread and lifting Tatneft, Lukoil, and Surgut by over 1% each.

Miners also booked gains after the Chinese government pledged to pass economic policy that will support property consumption, boosting the outlook for construction raw material inputs. Severstal, NLMK, and Polymetal both added more than 2.4%.


The ruble-based MOEX Russia index closed 0.2% lower at 2,970 on Wednesday, easing from the 17-month high touched in the prior session as investors continued to gauge commodity prices, geopolitical tensions, and a volatile ruble for Russia’s corporate outlook.

Declines were limited and mostly focused among metallurgists and financial companies with traders taking advantage of yesterday’s surge to book quick profits.

Gazprom shares closed flat despite another positive session for natural gas prices, while Novatek shares advanced over 1% as the release of strong corporate results offset the suspension of the Yamal LNG plant.

On the other hand, Severstal led the declines among the blue chips with a 1.6% retreat.


The ruble-based MOEX Russia index closed 0.6% higher at 2,988 on Thursday, renewing the index’s highest point since the Russian invasion of Ukraine with strong support from the financial sector as investors continued to gauge the outlook of the Russian corporate sector.

VTB led the gains among blue-chip companies after posting strong results in the first half of 2023 and forecasting a record amount of profits this year, with CFO Dmitry Pyanov projecting a 20% return on equity.

In the meantime, Severstal extended its strong momentum this week and added nearly 2%, setting the pace for metallurgists.

Outside the benchmark index, Russneft added nearly 6% on news that its board will meet to decide on dividends.


The ruble-based MOEX Russia index pared early losses and closed 0.6% higher at 3,006 on Friday, the highest since the crash triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 with strong support from oil companies as investors continued to assess Russia’s corporate outlook amid geopolitical risks.

Investors piled onto shares of oil producers in afternoon trading, lifting Lukoil stocks to close 2.9% higher while Surgut and Tatneft added 1.5% and Rosneft edged 1% higher.

On the other hand, financial stocks weighed on the benchmark index as investors took profits following VTB’s surge yesterday.

The bank released strong results for the first half of the year and forecasted a record amount of profits until the end of 2023.





The ruble-based MOEX Russia index soared by 2.2% to close at 3,074 on Monday, the highest since the crash triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 with strong support from banks and metallurgists.

Both preferred and common Sberbank shares surged more than 6% ahead of the release of the bank’s second-quarter results at the end of the week.

Also, VTB extended last week’s surge with a 3% jump in the session.

Last week, the bank’s CFO projected record-breaking profits this year after posting solid first-half results.

In the meantime, shares from Rosseti and its local subsidiaries soared after posting strong profit growth and guidances, largely due to the indexation of boiler tariffs this year. .

MOEX Daily Chart



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The ruble-based MOEX Russia index extended yesterday’s rally and gained 0.6% to close at 3,094 on Tuesday, the highest in 17 months, supported by another strong session for banks as investors digested movements in Russian commodity markets and corporate earnings.

Preferred Sberbank shares added 0.5%, extending the last session’s 6.3% surge ahead of the bank’s second-quarter results at the end of the week.

The Russian banking sector continued its bullish momentum after VTB released strong results and pledged a record-setting year for profits last week.

Year-to-date, the financial services sector of the MOEX exchange soared by 55%.

In the meantime, another round of concerning PMI data for China raised hopes of government economic support and lifted base metal prices, leading to advances for Seligdar, EN+, and Nornickel.


The ruble-based MOEX Russia index extended its rally and closed at 3,106 on Wednesday, renewing 17-month highs and extending the surge from the two first sessions of the week with strong support from energy producers.

The upswing for Russian markets defied sharp losses in equity benchmarks worldwide after Fitch downgraded the US’s credit rating.

Western sanctions due to the war in Ukraine isolated Russia from the international financial community and reduced the impact that external events may have on the Moscow exchange.

Oil companies led the gains in the session, with Tatneft adding 1.8% after the company released second-quarter earnings and tweaked its dividend policy.

Surgut also booked gains, adding 1.6%, as the spread between Brent crude oil and the Urals continued to narrow.

In the meantime, heavyweight banks held gains from earlier ahead of Sberbank’s corporate release this week.


The ruble-based MOEX Russia index soared by 1.3% to close at 3,150 on Thursday, extending the rally from earlier in the week and renewing 17-month highs with strong support from banks and energy producers.

Banks soared after Sberbank released strong financial results, lifting the financial services sector of the Moscow Exchange to soar 60% year-to-date.

The lending giant profited RUB 380 billion in the second quarter of the year, above market estimates, and closed firmly in the green.

In the meantime, oil producers advanced as energy revenues for the Russian government surpassed the Federal budget’s estimate and drove the Finance Ministry to purchase foreign currency and gold for the first time since the program was halted in January 2022.


The ruble-based MOEX Russia index surged by around 1.3% to 3,190 on Friday, extending the 6 days of advances and moving closer to pre-war levels with strong support from energy producers and financials.

Surgutneftgas, Yandex, Tatneft, and PIK contributed the most, up by 3.4%, 2.7%, 1.6%, and 0.7%, respectively.

Surgutneftegas surged on stronger dividends expectations, while Tatneft increased due to 6.9% rise in its profit for H1 2023.

Also, Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works added 0.6% after announcing 11% growth in group sales of metal products qoq in three months to July 2023.

On the other hand, Fgk Rusgidro underperformed, down by 1.8%.

Investors kept their eyes on Novolipetsk Steel and Severstal which are announcing their results for Q2 today.






The ruble-based MOEX Russia index closed 0.3% lower at 3,084 on Monday, extending Friday’s retreat amid sharp losses for miners and metallurgists as investors continued to assess the latest corporate news and extraordinary government measures amid the war in Ukraine.

Steel producers booked sharp losses, with Mechel and NLMK tanking 3% and 2%, respectively, while Severstal lost nearly 1%.

Markets continued to fret about signs of low resource demand in China as it economy continues to slow and its Politburo fails to calm markets with pledges of significant stimulus.

On the other hand, oil producers and banks moved higher.


The ruble-based MOEX Russia index rose above the flatline to 3,085 on Tuesday, erasing the morning losses and breaking the two sessions of declines thanks to consumer goods & services and electric utilities.

The top gainers of the day were Ozon Holdings (3.2%), Raspadskaya (3.1%), Moscow Exchange (1.1%), VK Company (0.9%), and Magnit (0.34%).

On the other hand, transportation, mining & metals, and financial sector suffered the most, weighed down by Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port (-9.1%), Ashinskiy Metzavod (-3%), Globaltrans Investment (-2.9%), RusGidro (-2.5%), and Severstal (-1.3%).

On the macroeconomic front, investors awaited US CPI release on Thursday and fretted about signs of low resource demand in China after the country's drop in imports for July.


The ruble-based MOEX Russia index rose to 3,101 on Wednesday, extending the positive tone for the second session amid gains in electric utilities, consumer & services and oil & gas, following the spike in crude oil prices due to supply shortage fears.

Investors also digested deflation figures for China.

The top gainers of the day were Rosetti (2.7%), Ashinskiy Metzavod (2.5%), Tatneft (1.6%), Alrosa (1.3%), RusGidro (1.1%), Rosneft (0.5%), and Gazprom (0.5%).

On the other hand, losses came from Raspadskaya (-2.3%), Magnit (-1.5%), and Ozon Holdings (-1.1%).

The heavyweight Sberbank dropped by 0.2% despite presenting the net results growth of 38.6% for the first 7 month of the year compared to the same period of 2022.

On the macroeconomic front, markets awaited Russia CPI release after the closing bell and tomorrow's reading for the US.


The ruble-based MOEX Russia index rose to 3,145 on Thursday, extending the positive tone for the 3rd session amid fresh earnings reports and stabilized ruble, following central bank's decision to stop purchase of the foreign currency and softer-than-expected US inflation.

Financials increased the most, driven by gains in VTB shares (7.4%) after the country's president announced control transfer of its 100% stake in United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) to the lender.

Oil & gas sector also advanced due to crude oil prices rally, with largest wins seen from NOVATEK (2.7%), Surgut (1.5%), Tatneft (1.3%), and Gazprom (1.1%).

Meanwhile, the other protagonists included MOEX (3.4%), Ozon Holdings (3%), (2.4%), Mechel (2.4%), and Ashinskiy Metzavod (1.4%).

Conversely, losses came from VK company (-2.5%), Raspadskaya (-1.3%), and Beluga Group (-0.7%) after weak quarterly results.

In local news, Putin urged investors against making rush decisions.


The ruble-based MOEX Russia index closed marginally above the flatline at 3,155 on Friday, advancing for the 4th session, helped by the gains in the oil and gas and IT sectors.

The top performers were ALROSA (3.1%), Surgut (2.9%), Rosneft (2.5%) and VK company (2.1%), with the latter announcing the delisting of its global depository receipts and Eurobonds from the London Stock Exchange on September 12th.

On the other hand, downward pressure came from AFK (-1.1%), RusGidro (-0.8%), Yandex (-0.8%), VTB (-0.8%), and Severstal (-0.8%).

Severstal got punished by news about termination of the company's steel cargos shipments to the US.

On the macroeconomic front, investors digested Russia's falling trade surplus and US consumer and producer inflation readings.

Also, the deepening decline of ruble remained in the spotlight. Weekly, the MOEX rose by 2%.





The ruble-based MOEX Russia index fell to 3,131 on Monday, reversing the morning gains and breaking its 4-day rally amid slightly recovered dollar.

The local currency retreated back below 100 after the country's central bank called for an emergency policy meeting on Tuesday.

The decline was broad-based, with sharpest losses coming from the financials and goods & services sectors.

Alrosa ended as the most penalized value, down by 4.3%, following the announcement of a 35% decrease in net profits for H1 2023.

Also, NMTP (-4%), PIK (-3.4%), Surgutneft (-3.4%), Magnit (-2%), Sberbank (-1.7%) and Lukoil (-1.5%) took the hit.

On the other hand, support came from TMK (1.9%), Gazprom (0.7%), and Tatneft (0.5%).


Russia’s plunging currency sparks a rare Moscow outburst​

By Bloomberg News​

August 15, 2023 — 6.38am

Russia’s central bank called an extraordinary meeting after the rouble crashed through the level of 100 to the dollar for the first time since March of last year as Russia’s war in Ukraine drags on and international sanctions hit trade.

The central bank hiked its key rate by a percentage point to 8.5 per cent last month, the first increase since emergency measures imposed immediately after the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

The exchange rate has emerged as the barometer of health for an economy battered by shrinking export revenues and its isolation from international financial markets, bringing infighting between the government and central bank into the open.

The rouble reversed losses after the announcement, and is fetching around 102 to the US dollar at 6am AEST. The currency has weakened about 25 per cent this year for the third-worst performance in emerging markets. The central bank had sought to arrest the slump by saying it won’t purchase foreign currency on the domestic market for the rest of 2023.

Kremlin economic aide Maxim Oreshkin blamed the central bank for contributing to the depreciation, an unusual rebuke made public just moments before the Russian currency broke through 100 to the dollar. Bank of Russia Governor Elvira Nabiullina has repeatedly cited deterioration in trade as the main reason for the rouble’s weakness.

Writing in a rare column published by state news agency Itar-Tass, President Vladimir Putin’s chief economic adviser said “the source of the weakening of the rouble and the acceleration of inflation is soft monetary policy.”

Policymakers have the necessary tools to normalise the currency value in the near future, he said.

“A weak rouble complicates the economy’s structural transformation and negatively affects the population’s real incomes.”

“It is in the interests of the Russian economy to have a strong rouble.”

Earlier on Monday, the central bank repeated that it currently doesn’t see any threats to financial stability from the rouble’s performance and allows for the possibility of raising interest rates at its coming meetings.

The value of exports is facing a “significant reduction” at a time when demand for imports is on the rise against the background of elevated government spending and also as a result of fast lending growth, it said in a statement.
The public airing of grievances hints at discord in the highest echelons of the Russian establishment over how to respond to a crash in the rouble that pulled it to levels last seen weeks after the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

The central bank announced last week it wouldn’t buy foreign currency on the domestic market under a budgetary mechanism that was put in place to insulate the economy from swings in commodity prices. The decision aimed to “reduce the volatility of financial markets,” it said.

The suspension of foreign-exchange purchases “has failed to stabilise the currency,” according to JPMorgan Chase & Co., which now expects the central bank to raise its benchmark to 10 per cent by the end of the year, up from its previous call for 9 per cent.
The central bank continues to adhere to a floating exchange-rate policy that “allows the economy to adapt effectively to changing external conditions,” Deputy Governor Alexey Zabotkin told reporters on Friday.
“The weakening of the rouble is the result of the international screws tightening around the Russian economy, but also the cost of keeping the economy going.

Budget situation​

But in what amounted to a defence of government policies, Oreshkin said authorities “managed to stabilise the budget situation” and expect to run a surplus in the third quarter, with the year-end deficit seen in line with the planned 2 per cent of gross domestic product.
In the remainder of the year, the amount of extra proceeds from oil and gas sales will reach about 800 billion roubles ($12.5 billion) above a baseline level in the budget, allowing the government to rely less on its wealth fund to cover the fiscal deficit, he said.

Revenues of Russian oil and gas exporters declined to $US6.9 billion ($10.6 billion) in July from $US16.8 billion in the same period last year, according to the latest central bank data. An easing of restrictions on moving money abroad has also led to accelerated capital flight as Russians race to shift funds into foreign accounts.

“The weakening of the rouble is the result of the international screws tightening around the Russian economy, but also the cost of keeping the economy going,” said Erik Meyersson, chief emerging-market strategist at SEB AB in Stockholm.

“Nobody wants to hold roubles, and the limited supply of foreign exchange from exporters weighs on the currency.”


The ruble-based MOEX Russia fell to 3,115 mark in a volatile session on Tuesday, extending the decline for the second day as caution dominated the sentiment due to the higher-than-anticipated rate hike by the country's central bank and disappointing data from China, one of the Russia's largest partners.

IT and construction sectors came under the pressure, with sharpest losses recorded by PIK (-2.4%) and LSR (-1.6%).

Also, RusGidro and Alrosa declined by the respective 0.7% and 0.4%.

The advances, on the other hand, were recorded by MoscowExchange (5.2%), Globaltrans Investment (5%), TMK (3.2%), Ozon Holdings (3.1%), and Rostelecom (1.4%), with the latter receiving an approval for distribution of dividends for 2022 by Ministry of Digital Development.

Meanwhile, Tatneft added over 1% after its board of directors recommended to pay the dividend of 27.54 rubles per share for the first half of 2023.


The ruble-based MOEX Russia fell by over 2% to the 3,049 mark on Wednesday, down for the third session due to a stronger ruble and concerning economic outlook for China.

Russian currency recovered after several sources revealed to Reuters that the government is considering reintroducing compulsory sale of FX revenues.

Weighing on the index further, Beijing failed to deliver a profound economic stimulus, and several large lenders downgraded their forecasts for China's GDP.

The decline was broad-based, with sharpest losses coming from NMTP (-6%), Raspadskaya (-5.1%), LSR (-4.7%), Ashinskiy Metzavod (-4.6%), and Rosseti (-3.9%).

On the other hand, BSP and GLTR rose by 9.2% and 1.9%, respectively.

Saints Peterburg's Bank shares surged after the lender scheduled the directors meeting on dividends for tomorrow.

Investors now look ahead to the FOMC minutes in the US.

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Russian stock market, crushed by war, opens with big limits

The Associated Press

The Russian stock market opened Thursday for limited trading under heavy restrictions for the first time since Moscow invaded Ukraine, coming almost a month after prices plunged and the market was shut down as a way to insulate the economy.

Trading of a limited number of stocks, including energy giants Gazprom and Rosneft, took place under curbs meant to prevent a repeat of the massive selloff on Feb. 24 that came in anticipation of Western economic sanctions.

The significant restrictions on trading Thursday underlined Russia’s economic isolation and the pressure on the financial system despite central bank efforts to curb market plunges. Foreigners could not sell stocks, and traders were barred from short selling — or betting prices will fall — while the government has said it will spend $10 billion on shares in coming months, a move that should support prices.

The benchmark MOEX index gained 4.4% as some companies partially recovered losses from the plunge on the day of the invasion. Airline Aeroflot bucked the positive trend by losing 16.4% — not a surprise after the U.S., European Union and others banned Russian planes from their airspaces.

Russian stocks were only a small part of emerging market share indexes even before the war and only for those with a high risk tolerance, given extensive cronyism, nontransparent accounting and widespread state interference. They lost any attraction for most foreign investors when the Moscow Exchange was dubbed “uninvestable” about a week into the war.

“The stock market is really almost a sideshow at this point,” said Chris Weafer, CEO at Macro-Advisory Ltd., a consulting firm. “It’s more a sentiment indicator because obviously companies are not raising any money on the stock market, and they won’t be able to.”

He said, however, that state-owned banks or funds may have been buying to support prices: “It does look like state-supported buying rather than any genuine interest on the part of investors.”

Government efforts to stabilize stocks and the ruble that has plunged in value are a way to show that some confidence was returning and “to try to get that message across to people not to panic, that this is a temporary situation that will improve,” Weafer said. Nonetheless, he added, the Russian financial system remained in a “fragile” state.

Tim Ash, senior emerging markets sovereign strategist at BlueBay Asset Management, said reopened trading was “deeply managed” and suggested that “for those Russians with some spare cash, there is nothing much else to buy as hedge to inflation and currency collapse.”

Restrictions like shutting down and restricting the stock market are among those that Russia has taken to shore up the financial system against utter collapse, but they also close off the economy to trade and investment that could fuel growth.

Some foreign hedge funds have expressed interest in shopping for distressed assets — viable companies trading at knocked-down prices — but they have no way to take part because of the trading restrictions, Weafer said.

A U.S. official called the severely restricted trading a “charade.”

“This is not a real market and not a sustainable model, which only underscores Russia’s isolation from the global financial system,” Daleep Singh, a deputy national security and economic adviser to President Joe Biden, said in a statement.

The economic turmoil in Russia from sanctions and the war has been severe. Hundreds of U.S., European and Japanese companies have pulled out of Russia. There have been bank runs and panic buying of sugar and other staples. The exchange rate of Russia’s ruble has tumbled.

Outside Russia, the reopening of stock trading on the Moscow Exchange has little impact, including on the vast majority of U.S. investors’ portfolios, said Leanna Devinney with Fidelity Investments.

The exchange’s market capitalization — about $773 billion at the end of last year, according to the World Federation of Exchanges — is a fraction of that of major Western or Asian markets. In comparison, the total of all equities on the New York Stock Exchange is roughly $28 trillion.

Russia’s central bank estimates that retail investors owned roughly 7.7 trillion rubles of stock, equal to $79 billion, as of late 2021.

Stocks last traded in Moscow on Feb. 25, a day after the MOEX sank 33% after Russian forces invaded Ukraine. Russia restarted trading in ruble-denominated government bonds earlier this week.

Roughly a week into the conflict, Russia was removed from emerging markets indexes compiled by MSCI after it determined the market to be “uninvestable.”

The London Stock Exchange suspended trading in shares of 27 companies with links to Russia on March 3, including some of the biggest in energy and finance. The shares lost most of their value before that: Rosneft dropped from $7.91 on Feb. 16 to 60 cents on March 2. Sberbank plunged from $14.90 to 5 cents.

Can Russia’s central bank save the ruble from a free fall? I don't think so.

After President Putin's full scale invasion of Ukraine last year, Russia became the most sanctioned nation on earth. Until now, the Kremlin found ways around the embargoes but the pain couldn't be avoided forever. On Monday, the ruble fell to its lowest level in 16 months.
In an emergency meeting, Russia's central bank raised interest rates to prevent a currency free fall.


The ruble-based MOEX Russia index edged up to the 3,063 mark on Thursday, halting three sessions of declines amid gains in consumer & services and transport sectors.

Also, the market welcomed Putin's call at Saint Petersburgh's forum to create a financial instrument that would allow investors to receive regular income.

Among single stocks, the main protagonists were MOEX (4%), NMTP (3.8%), and Ashinskiy (2.6%).

On the other hand, GLTR (-2.3%), Mechel (-2.3%), and LSR (1.4%) declined.

The strengthened ruble remained in focus, as Russian authorities reached an informal agreement with exporters to surrender more foreign revenues and haven't excluded the possibility of capital controls.