Russian markets halt trading after dive

Business Materials 18 September 2008 14:14 (UTC +04:00)

Russia's two leading stock exchanges remained mostly shut for the third day Thursday as stocks took their worst dive since the 1998 financial crisis, reported dpa.

The dollar-denominated RTS is still waiting for permission from the Federal Financial Markets Service to resume trading, the market's press office said.

A spokesman said it was unclear whether the index would open Thursday.

The ruble-denominated Micex, meanwhile, opened at 11:00 am Moscow time for limited transactions, to allow share holders an extra day to conclude deals from the previous two days, a spokesman told Russian news agencies.

MICEX and RTS plummeted to the lowest points in nearly three years on Wednesday before regulators intervened to halt trading at noon.

The Banking sector was worst hit as it scrambled for emergency loans amid global market turmoil.

The Finance Ministry has pledged 1.13 trillion rubles (44.37 billion dollars) in loans over three months to inject liquidity into the financial sector and shore up confidence.