MOSCOW: The Moscow Stock Exchange resumed trading of some shares Thursday, the second stage in a phased re-opening after being suspended for a month due to Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. Trading renewed for only around 30 of the largest companies that make up the ruble-denominated MOEX Russia Index, which saw early gains of over 10%. The RTS Index, which is calculated in US dollars, was down over 4% since markets opened.
The companies trading on Thursday include Russian energy giants Gazprom and Rosneft, and the country’s largest bank Sberbank, which is under US sanctions. The Moscow exchange suspended trading hours after President Vladimir Putin sent thousands of troops into pro-Western Ukraine on February 24. It started a phased re-opening on Monday with trading in federal government bonds.
After the start of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine, western powers imposed unprecedented sanctions on Russia. As a result, the ruble plummeted to historic lows and the central bank more than doubled its key interest rate to 20%.