RTS stock index surpasses 600-point level

As a result of a rise in prices on the Russian stock market, the RTS index has surpassed the level of 600 points and reached 601.31 points. As it was reported earlier, at the close of the trading session on October 1, 2003 the RTS index for the first time exceeded the historical maximum of 571.66 points, reached on October 6, 1997. The rate of growth in prices reached 2.19 percent at the noon today, and the RTS index has increased by 51.6 percent since the beginning of 2003 (the level of January 1, 2003 was 396.56 points).

The 600-point level was surpassed during the first hour of trade today. Prices of shares in YUKOS, Surgutneftegas and LUKoil were up 3-4 percent, the Sibneft share prices hiked by 8 percent, and the price of Tatneft shares rose by 6 percent. Shares in Russian oil companies are, as it were, "bought hot," and the RTS trade volume has exceeded $13m. At the same time the situation with shares in energy companies is substantially worse than the general situation on the market: RAO UES shares were up just 0.5 percent against yesterday's closing level, and the Mosenergo share price fell by 1.4 percent.

Analysts reckon that today will be a new day of record price levels and activity of traders. To all appearances, a growth in prices of shares in oil companies, encouraged by rumors about mergers and giant acquisitions, will continue today. Additionally, fuel prices keep on rising on international markets.

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