Russian stocks dropped at the opening. Blue chips lost over 2 percent on the MICEX exchange, led by RAO UES and Mosenergo (-4 percent each). Surgutneftegas, LUKoil and YUKOS shed about 3 percent. The MICEX index lost 3.06 percent to 580.79 points as of 11:00 a.m.
Experts believe that the lack of ruble liquidity prevents Russian stocks from rising. Other factors, which made investors to take profits before the holidays, are concerns about the Sayano Shushenskaya hydro power station. The deal on its privatization will be revised, and the station will be re-privatized. Metal prices are lower, as well as Russian Eurobonds. YUKOS has also affected the Russian stock market.
The Kremlin believes that new possible sanctions against Russia may lead to disastrous consequences, as Washington's actions will come contrary to the generally accepted rules of international trade