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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Shares Increase on Strong Western Support

Leading shares closed with strong gains on Friday due to an inflow of fresh Western money, with oil shares driving the market up through a technical resistance barrier, said traders.

The dollar-denominated Moscow Times Index of 50 leading shares rose 2.91 percent to 172.26 on high turnover of $36.494 million.

The RTS1-Interfax, the main over-the-counter index, ended 3.25 percent higher at 223.30, breaking a psychologically important 220 level, on a healthy volume of $39.07 million.

The broader Reuters Russian composite was 2.31 percent up at 2,165.18, while the Reuters index of Russian American Depositary Receipts at 1410 GMT was up 1.91 percent at 174.05.

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has painted a rosy picture of the nation’s recent economic achievements and forecast further growth in 2001.

"I think fresh money is coming into Russia. Current buys are of a very high quality," said Mikhail Portnoy, an international sales specialist at NIKoil, referring to Western investment funds working on emerging markets, which were apparently opening positions in Russia.

Oil shares were top gainers, with Tatneft ending 6.67 percent higher at 60 cents.

Some saw Tatneft boosted by newly released second-half financials. Others said the firm was making up for recent underperformance.

Surgutneftegaz oil soared 6.09 percent to 33.95 cents. LUKoil was 1.95 percent up to $15.65.