Market Fall Ends 6 Days Of Gains

The MICEX Index fell for the first time in seven days as investors seeking to raise cash sold shares after the recent rally and oil prices tumbled on concern that the economic slowdown will curb demand.

Rosneft and LUKoil dropped the most in almost two weeks as crude traded below $62 a barrel in New York.

The ruble-denominated MICEX sank 9.6 percent to 700.59, the first drop since Oct. 24. The MICEX Stock Exchange suspended trading for an hour today, the bourse's 25th halt since early September. The RTS Index retreated 6.3 percent to 777.52.

"When you get a rise in the Russian market, people try to sell into it, because the net desire out there is to sell," said Ron Smith, chief strategist at Alfa Bank.

"Any rally will be cut short by sellers trying to raise cash. If oil drops, then you get that much more pressure to sell."

Rosneft, the country's biggest oil producer, retreated 6.5 percent to 117.98 rubles on the MICEX. LUKoil, the second-largest, sank 5.1 percent to 1,041.12 rubles. Crude oil slumped for a second day on signs that demand for fuel will be eroded as the global economy deteriorates.

Norilsk Nickel slid 7.5 percent to 2,766.65 rubles. Nickel for three-month delivery declined as much as 4.7 percent to $11,720 a ton on the London Metal Exchange.