Russian stock market slumps over 4 pct at opening

The Russian stock market joined the panic across international trading floors on Friday with stocks slumping an average four percent at opening and more weakening was expected during the day, analysts said.

The index of the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange (MICEX) fell 4.07 percent to 1,554.72, its lowest since December 2010.

The index of the RTS exchange, which opens half an hour earlier, plunged 4.60 percent to 1,770.27 at 10:30 Moscow time, the exchange said.

“Local trading floors did not have time to factor in all negative news yesterday, this is why prices will continue falling today,” said Bank of Moscow analyst Maxim Koshelev.

He said the market would watch U.S. unemployment data for July to be released at 16:30 Moscow time. The figure was unexpectedly high last month.

International stock markets fell to their lowest since late 2010 on Friday and more losses are feared if governments do not stabilize the eurozone’s debt crisis soon and prevent the U.S. economy from sliding back into recession.

Prices for oil, Russia’s key export, sank to a five-month low as demand fell due to perceived signs of slower economic recovery in the U.S.

Investcafe analyst Anna Bodrova said that $40 million had quit Russian equities in the week ending August 3 compared to $13 million a week earlier.

“There are reasons to believe that the weekly outflow of capital from funds will continue until the first days of September due to instability abroad after which local issues will again become interesting for international investors,” she said.

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