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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Norilsk Surge Leads Market Up

Shares surged to a fresh closing high Friday, helped by investor optimism about domestic economic reforms, steady Western markets and sharp gains in market heavyweight Norilsk Nickel, dealers said.

The RTS index added 2.73 percent to finish at 227.87 on turnover of $53.45 million.

Traders said sentiment was buoyed by gains on some of Europe's main bourses following recent sharp losses and by the State Duma's decision earlier Friday to cut corporate profit tax to 24 percent from 35 percent.

"The market is higher on the back of stability in Western markets and expectations of more progress on the structural reform front," said United Financial Group equity salesman Michael Stein.

Shares in nonferrous metals giant Norilsk Nickel continued its recent rally, surging 8.05 percent to $19.90. The stock was up 12 percent at one point in the day, but those gains were pared by profit taking.

"Obviously some Friday profit-taking happened here and there, most strongly in Norilsk Nickel," a Western bank trader said.

Norilsk has hit high after high in recent days after it launched an American Depositary Receipt last week.

UFG's Stein said the ADR made the stock more accessible to institutional investors and global commodities funds, and the stock's recent gains were unlikely to collapse, barring a sharp drop in metals prices.