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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Stocks Post Slight Gains

The Russian share market finished the week posting slight gains after jitters which briefly sent the price of leading blue-chip Rostelecom plunging.

The dollar-adjusted Moscow Times Index of 50 leading issues gained 2.4 percent over the week to close Friday at 138.12, while the ruble-based index rose 2.8 percent to 341.94. Overall 18 issues advanced, 17 declined and 15 were unchanged.

Traders said the week was dominated by Thursday's news of the proposed merger between Rostelecom and the state telecommunications holding company, Svyazinvest. The news caused Rostelecom prices to slide 5.7 percent Thursday to reach what one trader said was an all-time low of $2.38.

"The market had no idea how to react to this news, except panic," said Dmitry Evenko, head of sales and trading at United City Bank. He said that the announcement had lost some of its impact by Thursday evening -- and the shares rallied Friday to close at $2.58.

Most blue-chips remained stable despite the IMF's decision to hold back the September tranche of its $10 billion loan, which analysts believed was another indication of the market's current stability.