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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Shares Nearly Unchanged On Speculative Demand

Russian shares closed nearly unchanged Monday, mostly on local speculative demand that failed to generate significant volumes, and traders did not expect any dramatic changes in December.

The dollar-denominated Moscow Times Index of 50 leading shares rose 0.53 percent to 92.63 on turnover of $9.99 million.

Russia's benchmark RTS1-Interfax shares index finished 0.02 percent down at 118.15 on moderate volume of $8.07 million, down from Friday's trade of $13.97 million. The broader Reuters Russian Composite rose 0.30 percent to 623.82.

Shares extended gains into a second week after a week of losses, but traders were wary of calling it an upward trend.

"There is no real trend now. The market is very speculative and every bit of news makes it fluctuate. I think this situation will continue to the end of December," one Western bank trader said.

He said the market dropped slightly after Russia's military issued an ultimatum ordering Chechens to leave their capital or face unrestrained air and artillery attacks, but prices recovered shortly after that.

Renaissance Capital brokerage said in a research note that market volume was likely to fall this week as investors started closing 1999 books early, fearing Y2K computer problems.

Leading shares were generally down, with national power grid Unified Energy Systems 1.19 percent lower at $0.0750 and regional utility Mosenergo 2.26 percent off at $0.0303. Russia's largest oil producer, LUKoil, was 1.26 percent down to $9.010; Surgutneftegaz was down 0.15 percent to $0.1996; while Tatneft was up 2.04 percent at $0.250.