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Russian stock market calm

MOSCOW, July 19 (RIA Novosti) - Tuesday's trade on the Russian stock market was rather languid and did not show any clear trends.

The RTS index advanced 0.43% to 745.55 points by 06:00 p.m. (Moscow time). The trade volume on the MICEX exchange was $19.2 million.

The value of most liquid shares fluctuated no more than 1%, with the exception of Sibneft shares, which dropped 1.5% on the RTS exchange.

Most blue chips rose at the beginning of trade, but by the afternoon were showing little movement, Olma analyst Anton Startsev said.

"The current situation on the market is caused by a lack of investment ideas which could change the balance of forces on the market or at least create demand for a particular stock," Kapital analyst Andrei Rozhkov said.

NetTrader.ru analyst Yevgeni Tyapkin said there was a lack of interest among foreign investors and that trade was mainly speculative.

Metropol trader Igor Rubin agreed with Rozhkov that there were no new investment ideas. Rubin said the situation on the market was quite typical for a vacation period. Trading was slow and the RTS index might stand at 720-750 points by the end of the week.

Even the reaffirmation by Standard & Poor's of Russia's investment rating could not change the lethargic state of the Russian stock market. Rubin said that this news "went unnoticed because the rating had not changed." At the corporate level, experts are saying that legal claims are having an impact on Sibneft shares.

Tyapkin at NetTrader.ru said Sibir Energy continued to block the sale of Sibneft shares. The British company had forced the seizure of a Sibneft asset and had introduced external management. Nevertheless, the negative trend had been alleviated by Moody's reaffirmation of Sibneft corporate rating, the analyst added.

Tyapkin said that Gazprom shares had gone up following the announcement that Rosneft was close to agreeing a loan with a syndicate of foreign banks to pay for 10.7% of Gazprom's stock. By the end of today's trading day, Gazprom shares had traded up 1.61% to 88.1 rubles.

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