Moscow stock market reopens for some bond trading

MOSCOW (BBC): The Moscow stock exchange has partially reopened after a nearly month-long suspension over the war in Ukraine. Only bonds issued by the Russian government can be traded as part of a phased re-opening of the market.

The exchange closed hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin sent thousands of troops into Ukraine on 24 February. Andrei Braginsky, a spokesman for the Moscow Exchange, said he hoped that trading in stocks would be able to start again soon.
“Technically everything is ready, and we are hoping this will resume in the near future,” he said.

The market reopened at 13:00 (10:00 GMT) but only for OFZ bonds – the Russian acronym for Federal Loan Obligations.

In pre-market trading, yields on those government bonds rose by almost 20% – the highest on record. A higher yield means the government will have to pay more to borrow and indicates the investment is more risky. The yield later settled close to 13% after trading began.

Central Bank governor Elvira Nabiullina said on Friday the bank would maintain its key interest rate at 20% and would purchase government bonds to limit volatility.

Meanwhile, oil prices jumped more than $3 on Monday, with Brent crude climbing above $111 a barrel. Prices moved higher after reports that the EU was considering whether to join the US in imposing an oil embargo on Russia. The European Commission said earlier this month it aimed to make Europe independent from Russian fossil fuels “well before 2030”.