Russian stock market opens slightly higher - 19 March, 2003 - News

The trade on the Russian stock market started with a slight increase in share prices. According to analysts, the market was ready for a correction after yesterday's sharp drop. However, there was not any confident upward movement in the first minutes of the trade. The Russian stock market is likely to be nervous and it will be hard to forecast the market today, experts think. Yesterday, share prices eased back noticeably amid a large trade volume. At the same time a further confident retreat should not be expected. The upward trend on the market has not been over yet.

Some analysts believe that the stock market is likely to fluctuate in different directions amid the expected further development of the situation around Iraq. The most unfavorable factor is yesterday's fall in world oil prices, which resulted in the considerable decrease in the sector of oil stocks. At the same time, oil prices will try to correct upwards today, which could lead to an upward correction after yesterday's drop. However the worsened situation on world markets (the decrease in US futures and Asian indices) will hinder a possible increase in share prices on the domestic stock market. The main internal factor is today's government meeting devoted to the liberalization of the Russian gas market.