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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Stocks, Ruble Drop on Oil Price, European Debts

MTA man changing an exchange-rate sign Thursday near metro Belorusskaya.

Russian stocks and the ruble fell for the first time in three days as oil retreated to a three-month low and investors speculated that European governments are not doing enough to contain widening deficits.

Gazprom declined 1.8 percent, while the preferred shares of pipeline operator Transneft fell 3 percent. The MICEX Index fell 1 percent to 1,378.7 at the close in Moscow, reversing earlier gains of as much 1.9 percent.

The ruble slipped 0.2 percent versus the dollar to 30.02. The currency gained 0.38 percent to 37.77 per euro and lost 0.2 percent to 33.48 against the euro-dollar basket.

European policymakers this week unveiled a loan package worth almost $1 trillion and a program of bond purchases to stop Greece’s sovereign-debt crisis from spreading to other nations. Commodities retreated Thursday, with oil dropping as the dollar gained on speculation that European governments may not cut deficits fast enough.  

“There is no conviction that the rescue package is a lasting solution,” said Yelena Suslova, a portfolio manager at Wermuth Asset Management. “Spain announced some austerity measures Wednesday, but Italy and Portugal really need to address their deficit problems.”

Russian stocks were the world’s best performers last year as an economic recovery boosted the earnings outlook of oil and metals producers. Oil, the country’s chief export earner, lost as much 2.7 percent to $73.93 a barrel in New York, the lowest price since Feb. 16.  

Rostelecom jumped 9.1 percent to 118.4 rubles, posting its biggest gain in seven months after the company recommended swap ratios for mergers with eight Russian regional fixed-line operators.