Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Market Drifting as Easter Holidays Sideline Investors

Russian shares drifted lower through the day Monday on very thin turnover as a public holiday in many Western countries kept foreign investors out of trade.

Traders said the local market had been frustrated by expectations of a slide in the United States and of a fall by Microsoft, the software maker.

The Moscow Times Index of 50 leading shares closed off 3.84 percent at 152.84 on turnover of just $9.98 million.

"We're looking at America where it [seemed] Microsoft shares were ready to fall sharply today," said Fleming UCB trader Alexander Fonarkov.

He noted that the Easter Monday holiday had sidelined many investors and left the thin market dominated by traders.

Fonarkov said U.S. losses in the short term could continue to influence the local bourse, which has drifted in recent weeks with little domestic news to drive it. The longer term was less clear.

Some traders have said the Russian market could firm on positive news such as climbing Central Bank reserves, better than expected economic performance in recent months and a relatively stable ruble.

But many have warned that nearly a week of holidays at the start of May would leave the market drifting for the next few weeks.