Absence of results of anti-terrorist operation to trigger off massive stock sale

"Today it would not be an exaggeration to say that the performance of both the Russian and world stock markets will depend on the outcome of the anti-terrorist operation aimed at releasing people being held hostage at Nord-Ost, a Moscow music theater", according to Alfa-Bank analysts. The hostage taking in the downtown Moscow provoked not only a decline of Russian stocks at the opening and their active sale during the trade session, but also prompted pessimistic sentiments on world stock markets. A 2.5 percent fall of Russian stocks at the closing of October 24 and sinking quotes in a number of industrial sectors were added to negative internal factors. In particular, the worse-than-expected first quarter financial results of YUKOS caused the massive selling of its stocks and their 4.5 percent decline.

Fears of the repetition of 9/11 in Russia and other countries gave rise to an opinion on the US stock exchanges about the overvaluation of stocks that soared on a wave of positive forecasts of corporate profits, Alfa-Bank pointed out. The sale of the most expensive stocks led to a 1.5-2.0 percent drop in leading stock indices in Russia. According to most market participants, any positive outcome of the anti-terrorist operation will be able to put the Russian and world stock markets back on track. The absence of the results of the operation aimed at liberating hostages by the end of the day may prompt a massive sale of Russian stocks, analysts say. A prolonged uncertainty around the current situation may drastically change medium-term outlooks of a number of financial segments, analysts believe.

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