Russian stocks shrug off sanctions, ruble holds steady – RT Business News

Russian stocks rose after a short-lived dip in early trading on Wednesday, brushing aside reports of new Western sanctions against Moscow on top of the unprecedented punitive measures already imposed.

The ruble-based benchmark MOEX rose more than 1% at 10:00 GMT, reversing earlier losses. The dollar-denominated RTS index of major Russian stocks also rallied, trading up 1.4%.

Shares of Russian energy giants Lukoil and Gazprom Neft rose 3.5% and 2.5% respectively.

The ruble stabilized at 83.42 to the dollar and gained 1.1% to trade at 90.52 against the euro. Over the past few weeks, the Russian currency has been boosted by capital controls as well as demand from President Vladimir Putin “hostile states” pay for Russian natural gas in rubles.

EU unveils new sanctions against Moscow

Shares lost ground at the open on reports that the United States and its allies had prepared new sanctions that would target Russian banks and officials and ban new investment in Russia. An EU official told Reuters the bloc will also have to introduce measures against Russian oil and even gas imports at some point in order to put pressure on Moscow.

The Russian stock market reopened for the first time in a month on March 24. The MOEX plunged on February 24, when Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine. On Feb. 28, trading was suspended until further notice as Western sanctions targeting Russia’s financial system sent stock markets into turmoil.

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