Russian Stocks Fall Midweek as Analysts Predict Long-term Gains

Stocks by Russian companies on the Moscow Exchange were down at the close of trade on Wednesday, while analysts predicted the stock market could hit record highs later this year.

According to Investing, losses in the Mining, Oil & Gas and Manufacturing sectors led Russian shares lower, with the MOEX Russia index declining by 0.02% at the close in Moscow.

The worst performers of the session were ALROSA, which fell 3.04% or 2.780 points to trade at 88.610 at the close. X5 Retail Group NV 2.99% or 55.0 points and PhosAgro was down 1.15% or 27.0 points.

The best performers of the session on the MOEX Russia were Aeroflot, which rose 6.07% or 8.00 points. Meanwhile, Inter RAO added 1.70% or 0.0680 points to end at 4.0700 and SG mechel was up 1.65% or 1.80 points to 110.80 in late trade.

The Russian VIX, which measures the implied volatility of MOEX Russia options, was down 1.76% to 23.980.

Meanwhile, analysts polled by Reuters said the Moscow stock market is headed for a year that would see it recover to levels seen before the latest round of U.S. sanctions.

The rouble-denominated MOEX stock index .IMOEX will rise to an all-time high of 2,445 points by the end of the year, a 6.4 increase from Tuesday’s close, according to the consensus forecast of six market analysts.

Its dollar-denominated peer RTS index .IRTS is predicted to climb to 1,299 points by end-2018, 12.5 percent higher than Tuesday, according to the median of 10 analysts.

Room for gains on Russian markets, however, is limited by the lingering standoff with the West that intensified after the United States slapped new sanctions on Russia in an attempt to punish it for “malign activities” around the globe, the analysts said.