Russian stock market rises sharply with agreements in Minsk

The Russian stock and currency markets began rising on Feb. 12 after an announcement was made that leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine had reached an agreement to establish a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.

The Russian stock and currency markets began rising on Feb. 12 after an announcement was made that leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine had reached an agreement to establish a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.

The negotiations, which took place in the Belarusian capital Minsk, lasted more than 16 hours.

Russia's MICEX and RTSI stock indices soared by more than 3 percent on the news, and the ruble strengthened moderately. However, experts are refraining from making long-term forecasts about the Russian economy.

Anna Kokoreva of the Alpari brokerage company said that because Russian indices have been sluggish lately, a 3-4 percent jump was very significant. "Although,” Kokoreva added, “it is rather speculative growth caused by specific statements. The subsequent behavior of markets will depend on the real outcome of the Minsk agreement.” 

According to Gregory Birg of the Investcafe brokerage company, any statement that the Russian market has stabilized is premature. "Problems in the economy remain: the decline in GDP, high inflation. Moreover, no one has said anything about the lifting of sanctions yet," Birg said.

The Russian currency strengthened by 0.7 percent in the morning of Feb. 12.  According to analysts, however, exchange rates are more tied to oil prices, and are not as susceptible as the stock markets to political statements

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