On Thursday, the Russian stock market ended trading with a confident corrective growth, having won back all the losses incurred the day before. By 18.40 Moscow time, the Moscow Exchange Index rose by 2.69%, to 2187.95 points, and the index jumped by 5.56%, to 1168.37 points, receiving additional support from the strengthening of the ruble.
The ruble on the Moscow Exchange by the evening, against the backdrop of the tax period, added 3-4% to the dollar and, located at 58.75 rubles and 57.70 rubles, respectively. At Forex, the ruble strengthened by a similar amount, located at the lower borders of the medium-term ranges of 58 rubles and 58.50 rubles against the dollar and the euro, respectively. At the same time, the Chinese currency against the ruble overcame the lower border of the “outset”, dropping to 8.5 rubles.
By the end of the session, preferred and ordinary shares of Mechel (MCX:) (+11.11% and +7.07%), securities of Gazprom (MCX:) (+8.80%), preferred and ordinary shares of Tatneft ( MCX:) (+5.54% and +4.03%), MMK (MCX:) (+3.92%) and Sberbank common shares (+3.43%).
The rise of Mechel shares in the late afternoon was not supported by any fundamental signals, but, apparently, was supported by dividend expectations following a number of positive news from other issuers.
So, on Thursday, Tatneft shareholders approved payments for the first half of this year in the amount of 32.71 rubles for both types of shares with a yield of 8.2% and 8.5% on common and preferred shares, respectively (registry closing on October 11). The first dividend approval in the oil and gas sector this season gives hope for similar decisions by Gazprom and Novatek (MCX:), despite the increase in the tax burden in the industry.
Gazprom today, in particular, supported the words of Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev, who said that he expects the company to fulfill previously announced plans for dividends. In addition, plans to pay semi-annual dividends in the amount of 51.03 rubles per share were confirmed by Famil Sadigov, member of the Gazprom management board. Shares of Gazprom on Thursday, however, failed to return to the trading range that preceded the fall, and overcome the resistance of 238 rubles.
The Ministry of Finance at the same time said that in 2022 it expects dividends from state-owned companies, including Sberbank, in the amount of 850.1 billion rubles, and in 2023 – 544.1 billion rubles. The dividend climate in the country could thus improve.
The decline leaders were Polymetal (MCX:) (-11.17%), Etalon GDR (-2.25%), Polyus (MCX:) (-1.61%), En+ Group (MCX:) ( -1.55%), MTS (MCX:) papers (-1.06%).
Polymetal collapsed on Thursday after the decision to completely cancel the payment of the final dividend for 2021 and did not offer the payment of dividends for the current year in order to strengthen the financial and operational stability of the company. In addition, the company posted expectedly weak 1H results, including a net loss of $321 mln. Polyus posted weak financial results the day before.
External background: moderately negative
US stock exchanges: moderately negative mood. Trading on the US stock exchanges by the end of the session in the Russian Federation took place with a decrease in the three major indices by 0.4-1.5%, led by the high-tech Nasdaq. Investors continued to win back the Fed’s tough tone following the meeting the day before and still has the potential to develop a fall to the June lows (in particular, 3636 points on). At the same time, the state of the national labor market remains stable: the number of initial applications for unemployment benefits increased from 208 thousand to 213 thousand last week (218 thousand were expected). On Friday, investors will evaluate preliminary data on business activity for September (the slowdown in the service sector is expected to continue), as well as another speech by Fed Chairman Powell.
European stock exchanges: negative mood. By the end of the main trades, the index accelerated its fall and lost about 1.8%, being under the pressure of recessionary fears following another wave of monetary tightening. So, on Thursday the Bank of Switzerland raised the interest rate from -0.25% to 0.5%, and the Bank of England – from 1.75% to 2.25%. On Friday, the data will certainly show a slowdown in the service and industrial sectors of Germany and the eurozone in September.
Oil market: moderately positive mood. The nearest futures for and by the evening remained in positive territory and added about 1%, failing to overcome any significant technical levels. During the session, the quotes again retreated from the short-term resistance of $87 and $93.50 respectively, which confirms the limited strength of buyers and the predominance of risks of medium-term decline. On Friday, in particular, prices may feel additional downward pressure in the event of weak data on business activity in Europe and the US in September.
General mood: Foreign equities were selling on Thursday, supported by continued tough central bank rhetoric and a bleak economic outlook for the coming months. and RTS at the same time grew steadily and strove for the medium-term resistance of 2250 and 1180 points, respectively, largely due to improved dividend sentiment. Today, in particular, the confirmation of Tatneft’s dividends was a pleasant surprise, and the statements of officials give hope for the approval of Gazprom’s dividends and even their subsequent announcement by Sberbank (MCX:). Against this background, the Russian market may well disengage from geopolitical news for a short time.