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  Wednesday, October 23, 2019
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Russia's RTS and MICEX stock markets sank below the psychologically important
Russia's RTS and MICEX stock markets sank below the psychologically important levels of 700 and 600 points, respectively, soon after the finance minister issued a stern outlook for the markets on Friday morning.

Both bourses lost over 5% of their value in the first two hours of trade, with the dollar-denominated RTS falling below 675 and the ruble-denominated MICEX to under 590, levels last seen in mid-2005. The indices have lost around 70% since their highpoints in May this year.

Addressing the lower house of parliament, Alexei Kudrin said: "We expect declines in the oil price, and the stock market indices in the global economy. And, naturally, a lower global oil price will bring with it a lower oil price in our economy."

He highlighted the strong impact on Russia's economy of events on world markets, and warned that "a harsh recession is now beginning."

The RTS and MICEX had suspended trade for an hour on Thursday after plummeting more than 5%.

Earlier this month, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced a $200 billion financial rescue package for banks and other key companies, amid the country's worst financial crisis since 1998. Relative to the economy's size, the program is larger than the $700 billion allocated by the United States government to bail out the country's financial system.

Russia's resource-based economy has been particularly hard-hit by the falling oil price, currently below $70, around half its peak level.


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