Russian equities and country-specific exchange traded funds jumped Tuesday after the World Bank pointed to improving conditions and a potential return to growth next year, with higher oil prices supporting the economy.
On Tuesday, the Market Vectors Russia ETF (NYSEArca: RSX) surged 4.3%, iShares MSCI Russia Capped ETF (NYSEArca: ERUS) jumped 4.5% and SPDR S&P Russia ETF (NYSEArca: RBL) increased 3.7%. The Russia ETFs are now testing their long-term, 200-day simple moving average.
Russian stocks rose Tuesday after the World Bank upwardly revised its Russian gross domestic product projections to a 2.7% dip this year, compared to previous estimates of a 3.8% contraction, citing improvements from a rebound in oil prices, a stronger ruble currency and slowing inflation.
Consequently, Birgit Hansl, World Bank Lead Economist for the Russian Federation, argued that the better conditions would allow the Russian central bank to ease its monetary policies at a faster rate this year to help bolster the economy, which could expand 0.7% in 2016.
“The revised forecast is largely driven by the adjustment in oil prices over the previous two months that is supporting the ruble exchange rate and a slightly faster retreat of inflation,” Hansl said in a press release. “That would allow the Central Bank of Russia to pursue monetary easing at a more rapid pace for the rest of 2015, as a result bringing down borrowing costs and increasing lending to firms and households. Both investment and consumption growth would contract slightly less than previously expected.”
The World Bank estimates that oil prices will average $58.0 per barrel this year and $63.6 per barrel in 2015. Brent crude oil futures were up 1.3% Tuesday, trading around $65.7 per barrel. [Country ETF Winners and Losers as Oil Prices Rise]
Oil is a major component of the Russian economy and accounts for a significant weight in Russian country-specific ETFs. For instance, the energy sector makes up 43.5% of RSX, 50.8% of RBL and 47.3% of ERUS