LUKoil Rises On Caspian Plans

Russian stocks rose yesterday, led by Lukoil after concerns about the conflict in the Middle East drove up the world crude oil prices, improving the outlook for profit growth at oil companies in the world's second largest exporting country of the fuel.

The Russian Trading System index rose one and a half percentage points to 392.9. In other regional markets, Poland's benchmark WIG20 index fell 0.08 percent to 1381.12, Hungary's BUX index rose 0.06 percent to 8148.56, and the Czech PX-50 index fell 0.5 percent to 457.80.

Lukoil rose 28 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $17.75. It said it may join the BP led project to extract Caspian Sea oil, as the top Russian oil producer plans to spend $12 billion in ten years to boost output abroad. Utility Unified Energy System and other shares followed US stocks higher, prompting optimism world markets are set to recoup recent declines, traders said.

“Russian oil stocks are rising the most, as crude oil rose because of Israel,” said Derick Pearlin, director of equity trading at MFK bank. “A two-day rise in U.S. stocks is indicating the crisis of distrust for Western stocks has ended.”

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