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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Stocks Follow Downward Trend

Shares finished down yet again Wednesday, though volume was improved, as nervous local investors began to sell the market, traders said.

The RTS1-Interfax index of the main over-the-counter trade slid 2.77 percent to 92.77 on volume of $13.37 million. The broader Reuters Russian composite was down 1.79 percent at 399.87.

The dollar-denominated Moscow Times Index of 50 leading shares fell 3.83 percent to 69.27 on turnover of $15.49 million.

"There were very big [sales] volumes from Russian clients," said Oleg Martynenko, a trader at Alfa Bank. "The main thing is there are no expectations money from foreign investors will come into the market right now."

Sales were motivated by rumors - including one denied by the Kremlin that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was planning to resign - and also by concerns that continued unrest would keep Western cash out of the market, traders said.

He also said that after the RTS1-Interfax index broke through 100, a level seen as critical by traders, the bourse was searching for a new level of support that could still be far away.

"Ninety is not a level of support. There's 100 and there's 80. ... Unfortunately hopes from yesterday that the market would go back up were dashed today."

The downward trend, which the market has followed for much of late summer, accelerated recently on concerns about a string of bomb attacks and fighting between federal troops and Islamic rebels in Dagestan.