(Adds details, updates prices)
MOSCOW, July 31 Russian stock indexes erased
early gains on Thursday, falling into the red by evening, as
global markets declined and Russia waited to see details of
further European Union sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine.
At 1420 GMT, the dollar-denominated RTS index was
down 0.2 percent to 1,220 points. The rouble-based MICEX
fell 0.2 percent to 1,379 points.
In the morning the RTS rose 1.5 percent and MICEX 1 percent,
after the European Commission published a new list of
individuals and companies subject to sanctions over Ukraine
which spared major listed companies.
Analysts warned, however, that further EU sanctions expected
to be announced later on Thursday could deflate the market mood.
Russian shares were also dragged down during the day by
declines on European and U.S. markets following disappointing
A sanctions list published by the European Commission late
on Wednesday included some associates of President Vladimir
Putin as well as three companies, none of which are listed on
the stock exchange.
Analysts said relief over the limited scope of EU sanctions
so far may be misplaced as further measures targeting key
sectors of the Russian economy are expected late on Thursday.
"Today's release of the texts of the EU Regulation on
sectoral sanctions is the key item to watch in order to assess
their scope," VTB Capital analysts said in a morning note.
Analysts said one of the major issues for the stock market
is whether the EU sanctions will include Sberbank,
Russia's largest bank and one of its major listed companies.
"The key question for the market is whether Sberbank is on
the list as investors are certain about the inclusion of VTB
after the U.S. declared sanctions on it," analysts at Uralsib
said in a morning note.
On Tuesday, the EU reached agreement on sanctions that will
shut major Russian banks out of European capital markets, but it
has yet to say which banks will be affected.
Sberbank shares were up 0.4 percent on Thursday,
outperforming the MICEX index. Shares in VTB, Russia's other
major listed bank, also rose 0.4 percent, having fallen on
Wednesday after the U.S. sanctions.
In a further blow to Russia, the European Court of Human
Rights in Strasbourg awarded shareholders in the defunct oil
company Yukos 1.9 billion euros in damages, following a $50
billion damages ruling by a court in the Hague on Monday.
Shares in leading Russian oil company Rosneft,
which had taken over the bulk of Yukos's assets, fell 0.6
percent on Thursday, slightly underperforming the market.
However, shares in Russian steel producer Severstal rose 4
percent, boosted by a promise on Wednesday to increase
dividends by $1 billion it raised from the sale of its assets in
As with stocks, the rouble also erased morning gains to end
the day weaker.
It was down 0.14 percent against the dollar at 35.64
and had shed one kopeck to 47.67 against the euro
, leaving the rouble 0.08 percent weaker at 41.05
against the dollar-euro basket.
For rouble poll data see
For Russian equities guide see
For Russian treasury bonds see
Russia in graphics: link.reuters.com/dun63s
(Reporting by Jason Bush; Editing by Larry King)