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Russian stocks plunge on falling oil, geopolitical tensions

Russian stocks plunged on Monday as the oil prices continued falling and investors were still reacting to higher geopolitical tensions, analysts said.

The MICEX dropped 3.13% to 1,481.27 and RTS sank 4.22% to 870.37.

"There were slight attempts of a rebound in the morning, but oil prices, which are falling to the levels of 2009, stemmed them in the bud and also prompted sales of the ruble," Promsvyazbank's analyst Ilya Frolov said.

The Brent oil price decreased 2.62% to $67.26 per barrel as of 6.19 p.m. Moscow time due to falling demand in China.

Frolov said that the market was also still reeling from a December 4 US resolution in which it effectively blamed Russia for all the events in Ukraine's south-east, and said it is ready to extend economic and political sanctions against Moscow.

"Internal problems, which are connected with the bond market, were added to the negative environment. The sale on the Russian bond market has been going on days and now looks like panic. OFZ federal bonds prices have fallen to an almost historical low, while their yields are hitting all records," Vasily Oleinink, an expert at ITinvest, said.

Biggest lender Sberbank's common and preferred shares looked weaker than the market, falling 4.81% and 3.77% to 65.30 rubles and 48.45 rubles respectively due to bank's performance - in January-November its net profit 15.8% on the year to 295 billion rubles according to Russian Accounting Standards.

Multi-industry holding AFK Sistema lost 14.32% to 7.70 rubles, as on Monday a court decision that the company must return a 71.8% stake in oil company Bashneft to the state came in force.

Construction company Mostotrest looked stronger than the market, rising 0.93% to 75.7 rubles, as the company won a 7.878 billion ruble tender for the reconstruction of a second stage of a M-10 highway's bridge across the Volga River.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 08Dec14]

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