Russia’s stocks rose sharply on Thursday, as the market reopened for limited trading after the country’s most extended shutdown since the Soviet Union’s demise.
Following an announcement from the Central Bank of Russia on Wednesday, the Moscow Exchange resumed trading in 33 Russian equities, including some of its biggest names like Gazprom and Sberbank, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Moscow time (3 a.m. and 7 a.m. E.T.).
However, short-selling of stocks is prohibited, and foreign investors will be unable to sell stocks or OFZ ruble bonds until April 1.
The MOEX Russia Index finished the day up 4.37 percent, reversing earlier gains of more than 10%. Rosneft and Lukoil, the oil giants, rose 16.97 percent and 12.41 percent, respectively, while Rusal, the aluminum company, rose 15.81 percent. Norilsk Nickel increased by 10.17 percent.
At the other end of the spectrum, shares of Russian airline Aeroflot initially fell more than 20%. Still, they recovered some of its losses to close 16.44 percent lower. Combined with a 3% drop in 2023, it will wipe out fifteen years of economic growth. The impact on medium- and long-term prospects, on the other hand, is likely to be even more severe.
Chinese Stocks Tumble
China’s stock market fell Friday, while the rest of Asia-Pacific traded mixed, while Wall Street stocks rose overnight and oil prices fell.
The Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 2.9 percent, while the Shanghai Composite fell 0.77 percent and the Shenzhen component fell 1.36 percent. The CSI 300 fell 1.42 percent.
Rusal, a Hong Kong-listed Russian aluminum producer, saw its shares rise more than 10% in early trade before falling more than 4%. The stock fell earlier this week after the company said on Monday that it was assessing the impact of the Australian government’s ban on exports of alumina and aluminum ores to Russia.
J.D. Logistics shares fell more than 14%, falling below the offer price. In a filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange this morning, the company said it would raise $8.53 billion Hong Kong dollars ($1.09 billion) through a share sale. According to JD.com’s subsidiary, the shares will price at 20.71 Hong Kong dollars per share.
The Hang Seng tech index fell nearly 5%, with Alibaba losing more than 6%, Tencent falling 2.7 percent, J.D. falling 6.3 percent, and Meituan falling 7 percent. Fears of delisting remained prominent, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission adding Chinese social media platform Weibo to a list of Chinese stocks facing delisting from the U.S.
Other Asia-Pacific Markets
After rising earlier, Japanese stocks have fallen back into negative territory. The Nikkei 225 and the Topix were both tradings below the flatline. Japan reported inflation data that showed its core consumer price index hit a two-year high in March.
The S&P/ASX 200 index in Australia remained positive, rising 0.26 percent, with miners leading. South Korean stocks could not find a direction, fluctuating between gains and losses.
Top gainers in Asia morning trade include mining firm MMG, which increased by more than 8%, Fanuc, which increased by 1.2 percent, and Singapore agricultural firm Olam, which increased by 5.1 percent. Nio, which fell 5.1 percent, and China Life Insurance, which fell 2.1 percent, were two notable losers.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.88 percent.
Overnight, U.S. stocks rose, led by chip stocks. The Dow rose 349.44 points, or 1%, to close at 34,707.94. The S&P 500 rose 1.4 percent to 4,520.16, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.9 percent to 14,191.84.
This week, the stock market has swung back and forth, alternating between up and down days. Investors closely watched shares of Apple suppliers in Asia. The tech behemoth is planning a hardware subscription service for iPhones that could launch as soon as the end of this year. On Thursday, Apple gained more than 2%.
Shares of Apple suppliers in Japan have lost some of their earlier gains. Murata Manufacturing’s stock increased 0.62 percent, while Alps Alpine’s stock increased 0.18 percent. Taiyo Yuden increased by 0.18 percent.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company increased by 1%, while Hon Hai Precision Industry decreased by 0.63 percent.