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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Oil Stocks Pull RTS Near 360

Yukos and Sibneft pulled the RTS index firmly into positive territory Wednesday, while utilities continued to lag, closing in the red.

The benchmark RTS closed up 0.83 percent at 359.25 on turnover of $18.04 million, recovering after U.S. indices ticked up in the early part of trade.

Alexei Dolgikh said panic sellers pushed the Russian market down in the morning after a bad day on U.S. markets Tuesday and weakness in fellow emerging market Brazil, but heads had cooled by midday.

"Valuations are pretty low and no one is going to sell just like that. There would have to be some bad news to push people to sell," Dolgikh said.

No. 2 oil producer Yukos, whose shares are the heaviest weighted in the RTS index, closed up 1.91 percent at $9.60. No. 4 producer Surgutneftegaz rose out of midday losses to close up 0.51 percent at $0.3970, while Sibneft continued to yo-yo, adding 6.85 percent to $1.95 after losing nearly 4 percent the previous day.

Renaissance Capital upgraded it to buy Wednesday after last week's well-received earnings release and announcement of plans to speed output growth.

"Yukos and Surgut ... continue to run decent oil companies, with the former being Russia's best advertisement for corporate governance, and the latter being simply Russia's best value oil company. We would expect this differential performance to continue and would advise investing accordingly," Renaissance said in a market comment.

Market benchmark Unified Energy Systems closed off 1.22 percent at $0.0970 after midday lows as far as 4 percent down from its previous close.