MOSCOW, April 4 (Reuters) - Russian assets hit multi-month lows on Thursday,
pressured by falling crude prices and worries about global and domestic
economies, with the rouble crossing the level of central bank interventions.
Macroeconomic data and comments from senior government officials point to a
significant moderation in growth of domestic gross product (GDP) this year,
indicating doubtful returns on investments in Russia.
This, combined with oil prices recording their biggest fall in five months
on Wednesday and a correction on international markets, steepened the decline of
Russian assets that began in late March.
At 0755 GMT, the dollar-denominated RTS index traded at its lowest
level since late November, down 0.5 percent on the day to 1,419.10 points.
'If we assume the correction on the U.S. market will continue after the
recent inorganic growth, we are likely to see a further decline to 1,397 as the
RTS index has lost its crucial support pillar at 1,429,' analysts at Sberbank
Investment Research wrote in a note.
The rouble-traded MICEX was down 0.1 percent since the previous
session, at 1,424.64 points. Traders see the next MICEX support level at 1,420
The rouble eased broadly, trading 0.3 percent down on the day at 31.73
against the dollar, its weakest since mid-November. It was 0.1
percent lower at 40.69 versus the euro, its lowest level in eight
This has left the rouble down 0.1 percent at 35.74 against the dollar-euro
basket, crossing the 35.65 level where the central bank steps in to
intervene in support of the currency.
'The rouble did not withstand the 'perfect storm' of lower crude prices,
concerns over the economic growth outlook and expectations of an imminent rate
cut ... and the panic purchases by non-residents and speculators,' said Dmitry
Polevoy, an analyst at ING Bank in Moscow.
The central bank left key interest rates unchanged at its monthly policy
meeting on Monday, but warned about risks to economic growth, which the market
took as a signal for monetary easing.
The Russian economy grew at its slowest quarterly pace in three years in the
fourth quarter of 2012, at 2.1 percent, with data suggesting the economy may
have grown by just 1 percent in the first quarter of this year.
Russian Markets Latest Net Change % Change % Change
MICEX 1424.64 -1.70 -0.12 1.95
RTS 1419.10 -6.89 -0.48 2.69
London ADRs 821.49 -2.02 -0.25 -7.01
Emrg Mkt Indx 1018.92 -6.07 -0.59 -3.44
MSCI Russia 762.02 -3.21 -0.42 -5.64
Sberbank 99.30 -0.16 -0.16 6.84
VTB 0.05 -0.00 -0.66 -10.28
Gazprom 132.37 1.99 1.53 -7.88
LUKOIL 1966.00 -7.90 -0.40 -1.71
Rostelecom 119.64 -0.79 -0.66 -0.63
Dollar/Rouble 31.73 0.09 0.29 4.36
Euro/Rouble 40.69 0.02 0.05 0.92
Rouble basket 35.74 0.04 0.12 2.57
DEBT Bid Ask %Rtn Coupon
Russia 10-yr bond 7.14 7.11 -0.03 7.00
MONEY MARKET Bid Ask Close
Overnight rate 5.75 6.20 6.06
All data taken from Reuters at 0755 GMT
(Additional reporting by Vladimir Abramov; Writing by Lidia Kelly; Editing by
Keywords: RUSSIA MARKETS/
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