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

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Western Instability Sends Local Bourse Down 15%

The Moscow Times Index on Friday closed below 150 for the first time since early March as a slide sparked by volatile Western markets and domestic uncertainty gained speed.

Traders were divided on how much further prices would go, but said it was clear the market was moving into a new range.

The MT Index fell 6.88 percent to 147.73 on turnover of $31.1 million.

The RTS1-Interfax shares index dove 6.9 percent on a volume of $30.4 million to close at 190.50, its first time under 200 since March 7, while the Reuters Russian composite dropped 8.2 percent to 1,708.41.

"It's been bloody today. As the market falls further and further, there is more pressure to sell because no one is sure where the bottom is," said a Russian trader.

"I for one am not too optimistic, but you can't make money talking down the market. Caution is the key word now."

The bourse has slid sharply this week, shedding nearly 15 percent in five days, pounded by instability on Western markets despite positive fundamentals at home and a new government generally seen as market-oriented.

Shares in Unified Energy Systems took a further 8.93 percent dive to end at $0.1366. UES was down 20 percent for the week, partly due to concerns about a plan to restructure the energy sector it controls. This week's radical drop in the share prices wiped close to $1.5 billion off the company's market value, which fell from around $7.1 billion May 12 to $5.6 billion Friday.