Russian stocks gain as Moscow Exchange resumes trading

Trading restrictions covered 33 of the 50 companies that are part of the country’s benchmark MOEX index

Russia reopened its stock market for an abbreviated session on Thursday nearly one month after shares plunged and the exchange was shut down following the invasion of Ukraine.


The benchmark MOEX index gained 6.5% as some companies partially recovered losses from the plunge on the day of the invasion. Airline Aeroflot bucked the positive trend by losing 10.7% — not a surprise because it has suspended all international flights after the U.S., European Union 

Trading, which was met with heavy restrictions, allowed in 33 of the 50 companies that are part of the country’s benchmark MOEX index, including state-owned gas producer Gazprom and the oil company Rosneft, according to a central bank announcement.

Stocks last traded in Moscow on Feb. 25. A day earlier the MOEX sank 33% after Russian forces invaded Ukraine. Since massive economic sanctions from Western nations have been implemented. Foreign shareholders are also unable to sell shares — a restriction Russia put in place to counter Western sanctions against its financial system and the weakening ruble.

A board with the logo is on display outside the office of the Moscow Exchange in the capital city of Moscow, Russia March 24, 2022. (REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov / Reuters Photos)

The reopening of stock trading on the Moscow Exchange has little impact on investors outside Russia. Its market capitalization is a fraction of that of major Western or Asian markets.

Hundreds of U.S., European and Japanese companies have pulled out of Russia.

There have been bank runs and panic buying of sugar and other staples. The exchange rate of Russia's ruble has tumbled.

Foreigners are barred from selling shares under rules imposed to counter Western sanctions against Russia’s weakening financial system and currency.

Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to a journalist's question during a joint news conference with Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban following their talks in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022.  (Yuri Kochetkov/Pool Photo via AP / AP Newsroom)


The Associated Press contributed to this report.