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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Stocks Slip as Market Shows Signs of Stagnation

Russian shares ended lower Tuesday, and traders said that although the losses were minor, they could be an indication the market was stagnating without more positive news to drive it.

The dollar-denominated Moscow Times Index of 50 leading shares fell 1.63 percent to 148.79 on moderate turnover of $26.968 million.

The benchmark RTS1-Interfax shares index finished down 1.68 percent at 194.58 on low volume of $24.3 million. It was the second day in a row the index closed lower following an 18-month high reached Friday.

Andrei Kukk, senior trader at IBG NIKoil, said the market may have overheated in the excitement following President Boris Yeltsin's New Year's Eve resignation, and shares may have reached their full growth potential for the pre-election period.

"Growth now is extremely limited - especially on paper like Surgut, Tatneft and LUKoil," he said.

Kukk said the market was finding support from Western investors who refused to sell because of expectations acting President Vladimir Putin would win a March 26 presidential poll.

"All hot money - 70 [percent] to 80 percent of it - has already hit Russia. The biggest investors with long-term money have not arrived and will not come until the presidential elections and not until the end of the war in Chechnya." But Kukk said on the whole he was optimistic of long-term growth.

Brokerage Troika-Dialog agreed and said the drop should be seen in a positive light even if the market went lower.