According to traders, since the US stock market plunged on Friday, negative sentiments have prevailed on the Russian stock market. "Shares have been declining in all sectors. The decrease in stock prices was also precipitated by a serious drop in futures of US indices. The uncertainty around the situation with Iraq also adds some pessimism to the moods of market participants. However, the stock fall was not panic. By afternoon the trade volumes both at the Russian Trading System (RTS) and the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange (MICEX) were hovering around the average figures that have been reported for the last few days. Among the hardest-hit were Rostelecom common shares, RAO UES of Russia preferred shares and AVAZ common shares that lost an average of 3 percent in value. Once more the Russian market approached the bottom of its sideways trend", experts said.
An explosion of household gas occurred in a nine-storeyed apartment building in the city of Shakhty, the Rostov region of Russia. The blast destroyed two storeys of the building