Russia authorities halted trading on the country’s stock exchange on Tuesday after it plunged 17 per cent in a broad-based sell-off.
At 1700 local time, the rouble-denominated Micex index had fallen 17.5 per cent to 881.17 and the RTS index dropped 12 per cent to 1,131.120 as the falling oil price, margin calls on local investors and a broader sell-off in emerging markets stocks drove shares down.
“This is a good old-fashioned panic”, said Steven Dashevsky, head of research at Unicredit in Moscow. “It doesn’t feel like there is anyone domestically that can put the brakes on.”
Oil stocks tracked the price of Brent crude, used as a benchmark for Russian oil sales, as it sank below $90 a barrel. Gas giant Gazprom fell 8.3 per cent to Rbs98 and Lukoil dropped 12 per cent to Rbs1,355.51.
“The fundamental issue is oil. Russian oil companies are not producing more so
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