Accessibility links

Russia Suspends Trading Twice as Stocks Soar


Russian investors have embarked on a stunning turn-around, sending the country's leading stock exchanges upward so quickly that officials were forced to briefly suspend trading.

Officials stopped trading on the RTS and Micex two times Friday, after both indexes soared more than 20 percent.

While investors welcomed the gains, apparently emboldened by efforts to shore up financial markets around the world, Russian officials called for the suspensions because they feared trading could get out of control.

Both the RTS and Micex were plagued by massive losses earlier in the week, forcing officials to suspend trading Wednesday and Thursday. The plunge had some economists and investors worried about a repeat of the country's 1998 financial collapse.

On Thursday, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev promised an additional $20 billion to help stabilize the country's financial markets.

The Finance Ministry also said it will lend the country's three largest banks an extra $2 billion in an effort to spur more lending.

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said the credit crisis in the United States has made it difficult for Russian banks to offer loans, slowing the economy.

Investor confidence has fallen in the wake of the Russian-Georgian conflict, and also has been shaken by the recent drop in oil prices. Russia's RTS Index of leading stocks has plunged about 60 percent since June.

Europe's BNP Paribas Bank also says investors have pulled $35 billion out of Russian since armed hostilities with neighboring Georgia.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

XS
SM
MD
LG