The MICEX stock market kept easing back on November 18, 2003, MICEX experts said. The MICEX index was 440 points as of 18:10 Moscow time, a 4.07-percent drop against the closing on November 17. RAO UES fell 6.8 percent, YUKOS lost 5.4 percent, Surgutneftegas dropped 4.9 percent, LUKoil decreased 3.2 percent and Norilsk Nickel and Sberbank were down 4 and 1.5 percent respectively. The trade volume was 11.2bn rubles ($380m), which was a 56-percent increase compared to the previous figure.
The decline on the market was amid growing trade volume, which testifies to a possible continuation of the current downward tendency. The market has dropped by about 25 percent since October 17, which means that the market's capitalization has lost some $50bn. A possible transfer of authority on setting oil export taxes to the government and information about negotiations on selling a stake in YUKOS to foreign investors contribute to the uncertainty on the market.