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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Stocks, Ruble Hold Steady Over Week

Russia's stock market stayed in a holding pattern this week, with prices moving little and trade sluggish, dealers said Friday.

The ruble-based Moscow Times Index lost 1.60 points over the week to close at 133.98 Friday, while the dollar-adjusted index of 50 leading shares slipped 0.81 points to 62.26.

On the currency markets, the ruble held steady against the dollar for five consecutive sessions before losing five points Friday to close at 4,743. Dealers said the Central Bank was active in trading.

Foreign investors, whose moves tend to drive Russian equities, largely stayed on the sidelines, apprehensive about the political situation, brokers said.

"The market was very calm with almost 90 percent of trading coming from Russian traders," Andrei Galperin, trader from Grant brokerage. "The situation is defined by lack of any news, negative or positive. Everybody is awaiting the presidential elections."

Decliners outpaced advancers 21 to 11 in the ruble-based MT Index, with 18 companies unchanged.

Among the week's top gainers were Sberbank, up 9.6 percent to $18; oil concern Orenburgneft, rising 8.3 percent from 90 cents to 98 cents, and St. Petersburg power company Lenenergo, climbing 5.4 percent to .069 cents.

Losers included energy companies Chernogorneft, falling 6.35 percent to $5.90; Samaraneftegaz, down 6 percent to $3.15; and Varieganneftegaz, off 4.8 percent to $1.50.

Norilsk Nickel stock showed signs of instability, a result of a power struggle going on between the plant's management and the company's new part-owner, Uneximbank, traders said. But its closed Friday at $5.20 a share, the same as last week.