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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Shares Close Higher on Thin Trade

Stocks closed slightly higher Friday, pulled up by gains in flagship utility UES, though traders said volumes were too thin to tell whether the fragile recovery would be sustainable next week.

The benchmark RTS index closed 0.31 percent higher at 342.53, ending a three-session slide. Volume was low at $10.08 million.

The Reuters index of the ruble-traded MICEX exchange was up 0.26 percent at 1,341.95 on a turnover of 2.65 billion rubles ($83 million). The Reuters MICEX index of liquid shares on several exchanges gained 0.45 percent to 854.62.

"Given we showed little reaction to the weakness in the United States, we should not expect to see a big rise on the way up next week," said Alexei Bystrov at Olma brokerage.

Market bellwether Unified Energy Systems closed 2.5 percent higher at $0.0902 as oil majors saw mixed fortunes with world crude prices volatile.

"The quietness in oil stocks was possibly the reason that we did not gain as much as European markets," said Jacques Polier at Troika Dialog.

LUKoil, which saw some foreign selling in the previous session, closed 0.76 percent higher at $16.01. Its main rival, Yukos, was off 0.22 percent at $9.14.

Traders said news that Russia had been struck from a blacklist by the Financial Action Task Force, the agency leading a campaign against money laundering, could improve investor sentiment.

"It has had no immediate effect on the market, but it is undoubtedly very positive. Russia has done a lot to get removed from the list," Bystrov said. "This is great because many thought this would only happen next year."