Markets Drop for 4th Day As Crude Nears 2-Year Low

The MICEX Index dropped for a fourth day as crude oil traded near a 21-month low and brokers cut their recommendations on Russian stocks.

Rosneft and LUKoil, the country's biggest oil producers, led the slump with declines of more than 5 percent each.

PIK Group tumbled the most ever in London after JPMorgan Chase cut its recommendation on the apartment builder to "underweight" on concern that it won't be able to repay debt. (Story, Page 9)

Evraz Group tumbled to a record low after it reported nine-month financial results and had its recommendation cut at Citigroup and Troika Dialog.

The MICEX sank 5.3 percent to 560.86, the lowest this month. Both the MICEX and the RTS halted trading for an hour because of the slump. The dollar-denominated RTS Index, dominated by oil and gas producers, fell 6 percent to 605.56.

Urals blend crude sank to $48.32 a barrel, the lowest since January 2007. Crude in New York fell as low as $55.29 a barrel before erasing losses and rising to $57.82.

Evraz, Russia's second-biggest steelmaker, fell $2.68, or 25 percent, to $7.94 in London, the lowest since listing shares there. Troika cut its recommendation on the shares to "hold" from "buy."

The brokerage also said in a note Monday that Evraz's nine-month earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $5.95 billion was "not impressive."

Separately, Citigroup cut its rating to "sell" from "buy," citing lower steel prices and concern about the company's "high levels of intangibles and goodwill."