The RTS Index closed above 600 for the first
time since 22 October, just before Khodorkovsky was arrested...
The RTS Index closed above 600 for the first time since 22 October, just before Khodorkovsky was arrested. Despite some late-in-the-day profit-taking, the market was up 1.61% and the RTS finished at 603.74. Total volume in the market was relatively high at $884 mn, as was MICEX volume at $449 mn. LUKoil saw a lot of activity, with turnover of $73 mn in MICEX, and was up 2.1% to close at $24.934. The biggest movement yesterday was seen in Severstal, up 5.9% to $151.5, on the back of strong steel prices. Recent reports from iron ore producers are pointing to a 19% increase in contract prices in April ? the highest rise since 1980.
Russian external debt was mostly flat again yesterday, while US Treasuries were lower. The EMBI+ Russia Index lost 0.1% with its spread tightening by 5 bp to 237. Domestic debt was lower ahead of today's OFZ auctions. Today MinFin is to auction Rb 18 bn worth of long-term OFZ issues and will pay around Rb 12 bn in principal and coupon payments.