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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russian Shares Follow the West, Continue 2-Day Growth Surge

Russian shares extended their latest gains into a second day, closing higher Wednesday as rising U.S. markets provided the local stock exchange with support, traders and analysts said.

The dollar-dominated Moscow Times Index of 50 leading shares rose 5.22 percent to 145.99 on volume of $31.72 million.

The benchmark RTS1-Interfax shares index climbed 5.58 percent on strong volume of $30.1 million to end at 180.57, just two days after a dip to a year low of 164.32.

The broader Reuters Russian composite was up 5.51 percent to 1,403.99.

"Prices were pretty cheap by the time these gains started, and the market just needed a reason to climb. It got that when ... the Dow reversed its recent losses," one trader said.

He said oil companies were leading the climb, adding that despite gains the market remained volatile and it could be hit by profit-taking in the next day or so.

"They [oil companies] were the hardest hit recently so they've bounced the highest." he said.

"But prices are cheap enough now that it seems like a good time to buy and some of those investors that haven't already are now placing bets for the [March 26] presidential election."

Kim Iskyan, an analyst at Renaissance Capital, said the upward move in had underlined the stock exchange's dependence on Western markets.

"The link to Western markets and U.S. markets is still pretty strong," Iskyan said, adding that he saw the market range-bound over the next two weeks.