MOEX index drops 1.67%, RTS down 2.16% by end of trading session on Wednesday

TASS Russian News Agency | Feb 17, 2021 at 6:35 PM

MOSCOW, February 17. /TASS/. The Russian stock indices showed mixed dynamics in the course of trading on the Moscow Exchange on Wednesday.

The ruble-denominated MOEX Russia Index fell by 1.67%, to 3,436.80 points, the dollar-denominated RTS Index declined by 2.16% to 1,462.35 points.

As of 7:35 pm Moscow time, the dollar-to-ruble rate increased by 0.35%, to 73.99 rubles, the euro-to-ruble rate decreased by 0.21%, to 89.06 rubles.

"At the beginning of the day, the MOEX index went above 3,500 points, but technical overheating and weakening optimism in foreign markets did not allow MOEX to live up to the potential of moving further upwards. In the afternoon, sellers' pressure significantly increased," Alexander Bakhtin, investment strategist at BCS World of Investments said.

He added that oil prices have also lost their growth rate - the price of a futures contract for Brent crude for the day added about 1% and remained at $63.7 per barrel.

"The acceleration of growth in the yields of 10-year US Treasury bonds arouses concern. This could potentially stimulate some investors to switch their focus to bonds and, accordingly, slow down the rise in stock markets. Meanwhile, a new hybrid strain of coronavirus has been discovered in the US, according to media reports. Other negative factors include intensification of tension between Washington and Beijing, which is observed contrary to the earlier forecasts of a "warming" in bilateral relations under the new US President Joe Biden, "the expert said.

However, the easing of restrictive measures in certain countries and regions, mass vaccination, as well as the preservation of super-mild monetary policy by global regulators are still on the side of buyers, Bakhtin added.

Stock market

Shares of Novatek (-3.57%)were among the leaders in terms of decline on the Moscow Exchange on Wednesday. The company's net profit in the fourth quarter was slightly lower than the forecast as a result of recognition of losses from exchange rate differences and other one-off factors, Freedom Finance analyst Alexander Osin said.

"The company, on the one hand, has large capital expenditures, but amid a cold winter, the parameters may improve further. The securities fall to 1,357 rubles, they may sink to 1,328 rubles, but the mid-term outlook is quite positive," Anna Bodrova, senior analyst at Alpari, said.

Enel Russia shares were also under pressure (-6.24%) on Wednesday.

"The company revised its previous decisions on dividends, postponing payments in the amount of 3 billion rubles to 2023. This upset the investors, the securities fell in price to a local minimum of 0.8585 rubles," Bodrova said.