Russian stock indices continued to decline on Thursday

TASS Russian News Agency | Feb 18, 2021 at 6:08 PM

MOSCOW, February 18. /TASS/. Sales on the Russian stock market continue to prevail on Thursday.

By the end of the main session, end of the main session, the ruble-denominated MOEX index fell by 1.07%, to 3,400.17 points, the dollar-denominated RTS index also decreased by 1.07%, to 1,446.70 points.

As of 6:53 pm Moscow time, the dollar-to-ruble rate increased by 0.35%, to 74.06 rubles, the euro-to-ruble rate decreased by 0.67%, to 89.44 rubles.

On Thursday, after a good start of the trading session in the morning, like the day before, sales prevailed in the afternoon.

Alexander Bakhtin, investment strategist at BCS World of Investments, attributed this to worsening sentiments on the Western sites - the US stock exchanges began trading in the red

"The number of initial applications for unemployment benefits in the United States for the week amounted to 861,000, which is significantly higher than the expected 765,000. At the same time, the growth rate of cases of coronavirus is increasing for the third day in a row," he added.

The price of Brent crude oil lost about 1.2% during the day, while remaining above $64.

"So far weather anomalies in the United States do not let prices of commodities to retreat," Bakhtin also said.

In addition, the statement of the head of Bank of Russia Elvira Nabiullina that the regulator plans to return to a neutral key rate of 5-6% in the three-year period could also cause a negative reaction from Russian players, Freedom Finance analyst Alexander Osin said.

He added that in the current situation, the leaders of Thursday's decline were shares of the consumer segment, whose business traditionally depends to a relatively high degree on the level of interest rates and lending activity.

Stock market

On the Russian stock market, the shares of the following companies were leaders of growth on Thursday, Rusal (+0.82%) and Norilsk Nickel (+0.58%).

"Shares of Norilsk Nickel continue to rise after the expected strong financial results for the second half of 2020. The shares also support the increase in the weight of the company's shares in the MSCI Russia 10/40 index, where Norilsk Nickel is now ranked fourth with a weight of 9.37%," Chief Executive Officer of VTB Capital Investments Vladimir Potapov said.

The increase in trading volume and the rise in the price of Rusal shares in the last couple of days could be caused by the demand from investors from Asia. During eth last weekend, many of these investors celebrated the Lunar New Year, Potapov added.

The shares of the following companies were leaders of decline on Thursday

The shares of Yandex (-3.12%) were among the leaders of decline on Thursday. "The news that the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) of Russia is conducting an investigation to assess the impact of Yandex.Taxi and Uber on the taxi market in terms of the rationality and validity of setting prices for transportation was the information driver of the decline," Osin explained.