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

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The ruble-based MOEX Russia Index closed 4.1% higher at 2,400 on Wednesday, extending the two-month high hit in the previous session amid a 25% surge for Gazprom after the natural gas giant’s board members recommended dividends for the first half of 2022.

Despite not releasing official numbers, the state-backed company’s CEO Alexey Miller said that earnings for the period will exceed the record-setting performance from 2021, as surging natural gas prices more than offset the decline in exports.

In its latest move, Gazprom temporarily suspended flows to Europe through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, citing maintenance issues and further reduced supplies to France due to contract disagreements.

Banks also booked sharp gains, led by a near 4% jump for Sberbank. On the month, the MOEX Russia Index added more than 8%.

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The MOEX Russia Index erased early losses to close 2% higher at 2,445 on Thursday, extending last session’s 4% jump to levels not seen since May.

Gains were led by oil giant Lukoil, surging nearly 11% in the session after the unexpected death of the company’s Chairman Ravil Maganov.

Shortly after the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Lukoil was one of the few companies to publicly condemn the aggression.

The oil giant sharply outperformed other energy stocks, as the Kremlin announced that Russia would prohibit exports to any state that enforces price caps on Russian oil shipments.

In the meantime, Gazprom dropped 2.3% after soaring 25% in the prior session as its board recommended dividend payments for the first half of 2022. Despite not releasing official earnings since February, the company said that results are even stronger than those from record-setting 2021, as surging gas prices offset the declines in output and exports.

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The MOEX Russia Index closed 1.1% higher at 2,470 on Friday, notching a 9% surge in the week to levels not seen since April with continued support from the energy, metallurgical, and financial sectors.

Oil companies booked sharp gains after the Kremlin announced that Russia will not supply oil to any country that places a price cap on their imports, following news that G7 leaders had agreed on a price ceiling in an attempt to limit revenues for Moscow’s war chest.

Still, Lukoil shares fell 2.7%, retreating slightly from its 11% surge yesterday after the sudden death of its Chairman, who previously spoke against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In the meantime, Gazprom closed higher after soaring 25% on Wednesday as its board recommended dividend payments for the first half of 2022.

Despite not releasing official earnings since February, the company said that results are even stronger than those from record-setting 2021, as surging gas prices offset the declines in output and exports.

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MOEX 12 MONTH CHART
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The ruble-based MOEX Russian Index pared early losses to close 0.7% higher at 2,490 on Monday, extending last week’s 9% surge to a near five-month high, as investors monitored developments concerning Russia’s energy supply to Europe.

Despite gains for the energy sector, Gazprom shares fell 1% after the state-backed giant shut off its key Nord Stream 1 pipeline indefinitely, citing maintenance issues.

The move sent natural gas prices soaring, as the EU continued to accuse the Kremlin of weaponizing energy supplies and reportedly considered a price cap on natural gas imports.

Also, the Kremlin stated last week that it would immediately halt exports of oil to any country that places a ceiling on import prices, retaliating the G7 agreement to place a price cap on Russian oil exports and cut revenues used for Moscow’s war chest.


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The MOEX Russia Index closed 2.5% down at 2,425 on Tuesday, retreating from the near five-month peak touched last session and halting seven consecutive sessions of gains after the Moscow Exchange announced that foreigners from “friendly” countries will have access to the equity market starting September 12th.

The move is expected to bring additional selling pressure to Russian stocks as foreign investors will be able to sell positions for the first time since trading was suspended for foreigners on February 24.

Meanwhile, Russian Economic Minister Reshetnikov said that Russia’s GDP is expected to contract by 2.9% this year, while revising 2023 forecasts to a 0.9% contraction from earlier estimates of a 2.7% decline, amid more confidence in fighting Western sanctions.

Losses were distributed among all sectors, with tech, energy, and miners all dropping more than 2.5%.

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The ruble-based MOEX Russia Index closed 1% lower at 2,400 on Wednesday, extending the 2.5% decline in the previous session as investors assessed the outlook for revenues on Russian energy following price caps from the EU and retaliation pledges from the Kremlin.

EU member states proposed a ceiling on Russian natural gas imports after President Putin stated that such a measure would lead Russia to halt exports of all energy commodities to Europe, including oil and coal.

Energy shares were the main losers of the session, with Lukoil and Tatneft dropping more than 2.5% each, while Gazprom fell nearly 2%. Gas supplies through Gazprom's key Nord Stream 1 pipeline have been halted since the start of the month for an indefinite period.

The state-backed giant recently announced that profits for the first half of 2022 were at a record high, despite not publishing official numbers.

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The ruble-based MOEX Russia Index closed 0.5% lower at 2,390 on Thursday, extending losses for the third session as investors further assessed the outlook of the suspension of energy supplies to Europe and its effect on Russian export revenues.

EU member states proposed a ceiling on Russian natural gas imports as President Putin stated that such a measure would lead Russia to halt exports of all energy commodities to Europe, including oil and coal.

Still, international oil benchmarks and natural gas prices for delivery in Europe trailed lower.

Investors were also hesitant to take large positions as the Moscow Exchange announced that it will reopen the Russian equity market for foreigners from “friendly” countries on Monday.

The move is expected to bring additional selling pressure to stocks as foreign investors will be able to sell positions for the first time since trading was suspended for on February 24.

Blue chip miners, energy producers, and banks all closed in the red.

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The MOEX Russia Index closed 1.5% higher at 2,430 on Friday, halting a three-session decline after the Moscow Exchange updated the list of shares that foreign investors are prohibited from selling upon their return to the Russian equity market on Monday.

Previously, the long-awaited return for investors from “friendly” countries was expected to bring selling pressure to stocks, as many were locked out of the market when equity trading was suspended on February 24.

The shares that are prohibited from selling include blue chips such as Gazprom, Rosneft, VTB, and 50 other companies.

Meanwhile, investors monitored the EU’s meeting to control electricity price surges, as prior indications that the EU could cap prices on Russian gas prompted President Putin to state Russia will halt exports of all energy commodities to Europe.

Investors also treaded carefully ahead of GDP and inflation releases following the closing bell.

On the week, the MOEX fell 1.4%.

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12 MONTH MOEX CHART
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The MOEX Russia Index closed 1% higher at 2,450 on Monday, extending the 1.5% gain in the previous session with broad support from all sectors.

The long-awaited return of foreign investors from “friendly” countries to the Russian equity market failed to exert the selling pressure that was previously expected.

Authorities added nearly 40 companies to the list of stocks prohibited from selling, including many of the index’s blue chips, while multiple foreign investors reportedly face delays with the identification process required by the exchange.

On the macro front, the latest data showed that consumer prices continued to decrease on a monthly basis in August, encouraging another interest rate cut by the central bank later this week; while the Q2 GDP shrank slightly more than previously expected.

In the meantime, Russia suffered its worst war setback since March after Ukrainian forces reclaimed more territories in the Northeast and South.

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The MOEX Russia Index closed slightly lower at 2,447 on Tuesday, halting two consecutive sessions in the green as losses in the energy and telecom sectors offset stronger performances for banks and consumer discretionary stocks.

Data compiled by Bloomberg indicated that Russian revenues from energy exports fell to a 14-month low in August, as increasingly low export volumes offset the higher prices of natural gas during the period.

Besides lower oil flows to Europe, recession concerns driven by higher interest rates worldwide also lowered crude oil prices offered to Asian states. Surgut, Tatneft, and Rosneft shares all closed with declines higher than 1%.

On the other hand, tech stocks continued to outperform the broader index as investors expect the Central Bank of Russia to slash borrowing costs by 50bps on Friday, the sixth consecutive rate cut, as inflation continues to ease.

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The ruble-based MOEX Russia Index closed 0.5% lower at 2,435 on Wednesday, extending losses for the second consecutive session as investors continued to gauge the outlook of energy exports and their impact on the Russian economy.

After soaring energy prices drove Russia to record consistent budget surpluses, August data pointed to sudden swing of a RUB 137 billion budget gap, as lower natural gas exports and waning oil prices deeply hampered revenues for vital Russian industries.

Natural gas revenues are set to fall even more as flows via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline were halted since the start of September, while the EU commission proposed a mandatory cut in energy demand.

Shares of oil giant Lukoil dropped more than 1%, while Tatneft and Novatek also closed deep in the red. In the meantime, PhosAgro sank 4% following news that the Kremlin considers raising exports for fertilizers.

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The ruble-based MOEX Russia Index closed 0.3% higher at 2,445 on Thursday, pausing the losing streak from the two prior sessions as investors continued to assess the outlook of the Russian economy as revenues from energy exports show further signs of waning.

The energy sector closed in the green, highlighting the disconnect between Russian financial markets and its global counterparts as crude oil prices plunged and international sentiment deteriorated.

After soaring energy prices drove Russia to record consistent budget surpluses, August data pointed to a sudden swing of a RUB 137 billion budget gap, as lower natural gas exports and waning oil prices deeply hampered revenues for vital Russian industries.

Further, Mechel shares dropped over 3% after Kommersant reported that Russia may raise levies on coal exports.

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The ruble-based MOEX Russia Index closed 0.6% lower at 2,430 on Friday, erasing gains from the prior session as investors weighed on the central bank’s rate cut and digested a slew of corporate news.

The CBR slashed its interest rate by 50bps to 7.5%, as broadly expected, and signaled that the space for further cuts is narrowing as the ruble is stable and weekly deflation is starting to ease.

Policy-sensitive tech shares closed in the green, outperforming all other sectors with support from VK and Yandex as the tech giants completed their long-awaited asset swap deal.

Elsewhere, Rosneft led the losses for oil stocks to drop 2.2%, pressured by news that Germany took control of two German subsidiaries that belonged to the Russian giant.

Negative sentiment from the news offset Rosneft’s announcement that revenue in H1 2022 grew by 32.5% year-on-year and that it will issue a series of bonds in Chinese yuan. On the week, the MOEX closed marginally above the flatline.

12 MONTH MOEX CHART
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The ruble-based MOEX Russia Index erased early gains to close flat at 2,430 on Monday, remaining relatively close to the five-week high touched earlier this month.

The limited downturn in recent sessions further highlighted the disconnect between Russian financial markets and the global economy, as equities traded in Moscow were unmoved by extensive signs of a global economic slowdown amid tighter monetary policy worldwide.

Capital controls also prevented selling pressure amid concerning domestic data, as last session the Central Bank of Russia signaled the end of its rate-cutting path.

In the meantime, budget data from August pointed to an uncharacteristic and sharp deficit, as cheaper energy and a pullback in export volumes to Europe hit the country’s revenues.

Losses in energy shares offset stronger performances by banks and tech, with Novatek and Tatneft dropping 1% each while TCS group added nearly 2%. .

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The MOEX Russia Index plunged nearly 9% to close at a one-month low of 2,215 on Tuesday, the sharpest decline since February, following news that Moscow is moving to annex Ukrainian territory and new measures to cover Russia’s looming budget deficit.

The breakaway Donetsk and Luhansk Republics and parts of Kherson under Russian control are set to hold referendums to become a part of Russia.

In the meantime, the Kremlin wants to collect over RUB 3 trillion to cover for its expected budget deficit, with higher taxes and duties on energy exports set to raise RUB 1.4 trillion for next year’s gap.

Consequently, the heavy-weighing energy stocks tanked 8% on average, with Gazprom falling 11% amid the possibility of steep taxes being charged on record-setting profits this year.

Budget data from August pointed to an uncharacteristic and wide deficit, as cheaper energy and a pullback in export volumes to Europe hit the country’s revenues.

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The MOEX Russia Index closed nearly 4% lower at 2,130 on Wednesday, being down as much as 10% on the session and extending last yesterday’s 9% plunge as President Putin ordered the country’s first mobilization since World War II.

Russia will conscript 300,000 soldiers and emphasized its readiness to use nuclear weapons, escalating the war further.

The index tanked yesterday as the Kremlin confirmed that is moving to annex Ukrainian territory, setting up referendums to join Russia in the breakaway Luhansk and Donetsk Republics, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia.

The annexation is seen by many as serious means of escalation, giving grounds for the Kremlin to consider Ukraine’s recent counterattack an aggression on Russian soil with Western weapons.

Russian financial markets were also pressured by the announcement Russia would tax exports to raise RUB 3 trillion to cover its looming budget deficit and increasing war chest. Energy shares and miners led the losses.

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The ruble-based MOEX Russia index closed 2.8% higher at 2,190 on Thursday, slightly rebounding after plunging 12.3% in the last two sessions as investors monitored corporate news amid further escalation of the war in Ukraine and fresh threats to the West.

This week, President Putin ordered the country’s first military mobilization since World War II and emphasized Russia’s readiness to use its nuclear weapon arsenal after announcing plans to formally annex four Ukrainian territories through referendums set for this weekend.

The annexation is seen by many as serious means of escalation, giving grounds for the Kremlin to consider Ukraine’s recent counterattack an aggression on Russian soil with Western weapons.

On the corporate front, Gazprom shares surged 8% as its board announced interim dividends of RUB 51 per share for its record-setting profits in the first half of 2022.

Banks also booked gains after the central bank announced it extended reserve requirement relief measures.

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The MOEX Russia index fell 4.6% to 2,090 on Friday, plummeting 14% on the week amid further escalation of Russia’s war in Ukraine and fresh threats to the West.

President Putin ordered the country’s first military mobilization since World War II and emphasized Russia readiness to use its nuclear weapon arsenal after setting plans to formally annex four Ukrainian territories through referendums that have already started.

Besides raising widespread protests within Russia, multiple EU members pushed for harsher sanctions against Moscow.

The annexation is seen by many as serious means of escalation, giving grounds for the Kremlin to consider Ukraine’s recent counterattack an aggression on Russian soil with Western weapons.

Russian financial markets were also pressured by the announcement Russia would tax exports to raise RUB 3 trillion to cover its looming budget deficit, driving energy companies to be among the leaders of the decline.

Miners also plunged, dropping 10% on the session.

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The MOEX Russia index closed 10 points higher at 1,965 on Wednesday, extending last session’s slight rebound after a steep sell-off took the index to 5-year lows earlier in the week.

Referendums to join Russia carried out in four Ukrainian regions pointed to overwhelming majorities in favor, raising concerns that Moscow will respond aggressively to Kyiv’s recent counterattack as the territories will be formerly seen as domestically annexed.

Western leaders largely deemed the results illegitimate and refused to recognize results, driving countries to ramp up weapon packages to Kyiv.

Last week, President Putin ordered the country’s first military mobilization since World War II and emphasized Russia readiness to use its nuclear weapon arsenal, triggering Russian financial assets to crash.

In the meantime, Gazprom fell nearly 3% as new tax laws to cover Moscow’s budget deficit will result in RUB 1.3 trillion in taxes for the gas giant over the next three years.

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