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Russian stocks fall again as Moscow Exchange expands trading to all shares after month-long shutdown

Moscow’s stock exchange has reopened after a monthlong closure.

Maxim Shemetov/Getty Images

  • Russia’s Moex stock index slipped for a second day as trading on the Moscow Exchange was extended to all stocks.
  • Moscow Exchange suspended trading for a month following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • Strict limits on buying and selling have not stopped equities from falling for the last two sessions.

Russian stocks fell again on Monday, as the Moscow Exchange expanded to trading to include all shares after closing the market for a month.

The country’s benchmark Moex index was down 1.6% about two-and-a-half hours into the shortened four-hour session.

Some of the biggest companies fell for a second day, after the index closed in the red Friday. Lender Sberbank was down 3.6%, oil company Lukoil was 1.7% lower, and natural gas firm Novatek was down around 0.9%.

The Moscow Exchange expanded trading to cover all Russian shares Monday. Last week, it tentatively reopened trading in 33 of the biggest companies, having suspended the market since February 25, the day after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Stocks rose around 4% Thursday, but fell by a similar amount Friday. The index has fallen around 40% so far this year as of Monday, having crashed 33% on the day the invasion of Ukraine began. Russian stocks have been the worst performers in the world in 2022.

Authorities have put restrictions in place in an effort to limit the damage to Russian assets. The trading day has been shortened to four hours; foreigners are banned from selling stocks; and short-selling — where investors bet a share will fall — is also banned.

The government has ordered the country’s sovereign wealth fund to put aside $10 billion to potentially support financial markets. However, Bloomberg reported Friday that the money has not been used so far.

Western investors have been scrambling to cut their exposure to Russia, which has become an international pariah and which is expected to enter a brutal recession this year. Those efforts have been complicated by international sanctions and the strict limits on trading within Russia, however.

Last week, the US slammed the reopening of the Moscow Exchange as a “charade.” White House economic adviser Daleep Singh said: “This is not a real market and not a sustainable model.”

Read more: Inflation busting stocks: Top money manager lays out the 4-pronged investing strategy you can use to profit from inflation – and names 9 stocks to buy

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