Analysts of the OLMA investment firm commented on the situation on the Russian stock market today and forecasted that a falling tendency was likely to be observed amid the low activity of traders caused by a holiday in the USA. Experts explained that the general news background was rather negative today due to unfavorable macroeconomic and corporate reports released in the USA at the end of the previous week, which had already resulted in a plummet in US and European stock indices last Friday. At the same time, rising oil prices at NYMEX after the statement of the US Secretary of State on Iraq and a slight rise in US stock futures could have a positive impact on the Russian market. According to earlier reports, the US Secretary of State announced that Iraq was not providing all information on weapons of mass destruction to UN inspectors. Commenting on the main domestic events, the specialists mentioned decisions of the State Duma on energy bills expected to be made on January 21-22. They estimated the Audit Chamber's proposal to transfer Gazprom's shares in exchange for privileges in the Blue Stream pipeline project as a moderately negative factor for the stock market.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.