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Russian GDP declines 0.5%, stock market closes mixed

Russian GDP declines 0.5%, stock market closes mixed

MOSCOW:  Russian stocks closed mixed as the ruble continued weakening and the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 0.5% on the year in November, analysts said.

The MICEX increased 1.07% to 1,432.94 and the RTS decreased 4.04% to 795.09.

The domestic stock market was primarily influenced by the ruble’s strong volatility that put Russia’s financial sector, including banks, under additional pressure, while geopolitics issues had insignificant impact on the market, Sergey Filchenkov, an analyst at Metropol, said.

Stocks of exporters, particularly in metals, oil and gas sector, rose in light of the ruble’s weakening and this supported the growth of the MICEX, he said.

The weighted average rate of the ruble with tomorrow settlement fell by 4.65 rubles against the U.S. dollar to 56.68 and decreased 5.55 rubles to 69.06, according to the Moscow Exchange’s data.

The technical fall of the RTS was speed up by the Economic Development Ministry’s report on GDP which decreased 0.5% on the year and 0.2% on the month in November, the first time in five years, Vitaly Manzhos, analyst at Nord-Capital, said.

Norilsk Nickel grew 4.63% to 8,360 rubles per share amid the ruble’s weakening, Filchenkov said.

Lukoil rose 1.54% to 2,298.90 rubles per share on a statement by CEO Vagit Alekperov that the company’s top management will resume share purchases in January, Mazhons said.