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Russian stocks are back at pre-war levels as investors see them as safer bet than falling ruble

Jason Ma   

Russian stocks are back at pre-war levels as investors see them as safer bet than falling ruble
  • Russian stocks are back at pre-war levels as investors see them as safer bets amid the falling ruble.
  • The Moex index closed at 3,093.64 on Tuesday, above where it was when Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

Russian stocks are back at pre-war levels as investors in the country see them as safer bets than holding onto their falling rubles.

The Moex Russia Index closed at 3,093.64 on Tuesday, above where it was when Vladimir Putin launched his Ukraine invasion on February 24, 2022.

Retail investors have been turning to the domestic stock market as Western sanctions and the Kremlin's capital controls have largely forced them to keep their money in Russia.

But the ruble's recent plunge has given investors further incentive to buy stocks as the local exchange features top commodity companies that generate revenue in foreign currencies via exports like oil, according to Bloomberg.

On Monday, 1.3 million individual investors were active on the Moscow Exchange, more than double last year's average, with retail traders accounting for over 80% of volume, the report said.

That comes as the ruble has been one of the worst-performing currencies in 2023, losing more than 20% against the dollar this year.

In June, the ruble fell hit its lowest level in 15 months, following the Wagner Group's attempted mutiny and march toward Moscow. Fears of political chaos caused Russian demand for foreign currencies to jump to 70%-80% in some regions.

Meanwhile, oil prices have rallied sharply in recent weeks as fears of a US recession fade while China signals more stimulus is coming to jump start disappointing economic growth.

Russia's flagship Urals crude oil prices even busted the West's $60-per-barrel price cap last month to reach its highest level since mid-November 2022, according to a S&P Global commodity insights report.

But while the Moex stock index, which is denominated in rubles, has surpassed pre-war levels, it remains well below earlier highs.

Meanwhile, a separate gauge of Russian stocks that's denominated in dollars is more than 10% below pre-invasion levels, Bloomberg said.


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