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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Investors Breathe Sigh of Relief

Shares closed higher across the board Monday, with investors relieved the siege at a Moscow theater was over, but they still trailed global markets.

The benchmark RTS index closed 1.11 percent higher at 352.8 points, recovering half the losses it sustained last week when Chechen guerrillas took hundreds of theatergoers hostage on Wednesday. Turnover was $14.2 million.

The Reuters index of the ruble-traded MICEX rose 2.65 percent to 1,449.55 on turnover of 5.02 billion rubles ($159 million). The Reuters MICEX composite rose 1.26 percent to 887.07.

"The market viewed the freeing of hostages in the light that everything could have ended much worse, although I would not link the market gains only to that [rescue of hostages]," said Dmitry Kulyashenets at Renaissance Capital.

Unified Energy Systems, usually a good indicator of market sentiment, was the day's most traded stock and soared 5.08 percent to close at $0.1035. The stock was in demand among local investors, traders said.

Liquid oil shares also rose, with top crude producer LUKoil ending the day 2.74 percent higher at $16.13 after easing almost 4 percent last week. Sibneft was 1.89 percent higher at $1.9970.

Yukos bucked the trend, nudging down 0.16 percent to $9.250 percent with some investors seen shifing their holdings to LUKoil, traders said.

Alexander Lobanov at Prospect said that Yukos disappointed some investors last week, when it posted lower-than-expected profits for the first half of the year.

Kulyashenets expected the market to remain in the 340 to 360 range on the RTS, finding some support from stronger global markets. But he noted that oil stocks could be hit if global crude prices continued to decline.

"Despite the recent decline, oil prices are still high and this is not a cause of concern for the market, but if the decline continues sales of Yukos and Surgutneftegaz could intensify," he said.