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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

RTS Firms on LUKoil, UES Trade

LUKoil and Unified Energy Systems dominated meager trade Thursday, dealers said, with one big LUKoil buyer in London propelling the market to close higher.

The benchmark RTS index closed up 1.26 percent at 329.91 on volume of just $10 million. The ruble-dominated MICEX gained 2.66 percent on turnover of 3.6 billion rubles ($110 million).

"It was another good day, volumes were all focused on LUKoil and UES. There was one big LUKoil buyer in London," said Michael Sito, a salesman at Troika Dialog.

"It will be hard for the RTS to break out of its current range between 310 and 345 until we see volumes pick up and real new investment appear," he added.

LUKoil closed 2.44 percent higher at $15.520, while UES was up 2.04 percent to $0.0900.

Traders said Russia was still caught in the slipstream of bigger global markets, with news that the International Monetary Fund had thrown a $30 billion cash lifeline to Brazil also boosting sentiment.

"Brazil being bailed out is calming investors' nerves," Sito said.

Anatoly Tsoir at CentreInvest Securities said he expected volumes to remain low for the rest of the holiday period.

"There is no aggression. I think everyone wants to get through August and September quietly ... they don't want to risk anything," he said.

Other blue chips finished higher across the board.

No. 2 oil producer Yukos ended up 2.14 percent at $9.060 and No. 3 Surgutneftegas ended 1.72 percent higher at $0.3250.

Gazprom finished 3.63 percent higher at 25.710 rubles and Rostelecom was up 1.4 percent at $1.0900.