Russian equities traded in New York headed for their third straight monthly decline, the biggest stretch of losses in three years, as a tumble in Brent crude sent OAO Lukoil (LUKOY) and OAO Gazprom Neft (GZPFY) lower.
The Bloomberg Russia-US Equity Index (RUS14BN) of the most traded Russian companies in New York sank 2.7 percent to 82.65 yesterday, extending its retreat for a third month, the longest string of declines since February 2009. Lukoil, Russia’s largest non-state oil producer, fell from a two-week high while Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Russia’s biggest company by value, slipped the most in a week. Futures on the dollar-denominated RTS index (RTSI$) gained 0.1 percent.
Brent crude, which underpins Russia’s Urals crude blend, settled below $104 for the first time this year, and has retreated 14 percent this month as concern about the European debt crisis deepened. Russia, the world’s biggest energy exporter, obtained almost 50 percent of budget revenue from oil and gas sales last year. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said yesterday that the government can increase taxes on its oil and gas producers.
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