Emerging Stocks Pare Gains As Oil Weighs On Russia Energy Shares

President Barack Obama signed into law a measure ending the 16-day U.S. government shutdown and extending the nations borrowing authority until early next year. The Micex advanced 3.4 percent this month amid optimism a deal would be struck. Crude fell 0.6 percent to $101.73 a barrel in New York . Many investors expected the U.S. government to come to a resolution and hence were buying riskier assets, like Russia, Vadim Bit-Avragim, who helps manage about $4.4 billion at Kapital Asset Management in Moscow, said by phone. And once the decision was made, many decided to fix profits after the rally. At the same time, the U.S. agreement will have to be revisited soon, which creates uncertainty. We may see an extended drop in the oil price now. Severstal sank 0.8 percent to $9.185 in London after reporting total steel-product sales in the third quarter fell 4 percent from the previous three-month period. Bull Market Surgutneftegas tumbled 1.9 percent to $9.03 in London while Gazprom dropped 1.1 percent to $9.695.

In Russia, New HIV Strain Spreading Rapidly

Investors had already pre-empted a resolution, so todays move is taking profits after the fact, Koon Chow , head of emerging-market strategy at Barclays Plc in London, said by e-mail. The premium investors demand to own developing-country debt over U.S. Treasuries rose two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 319, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. indexes. Russian Stocks The measure to end the U.S. fiscal impasse between the Obama administration and Republicans in Congress was passed by wide margins in the House and Senate last night. Three out of 10 industry groups rose in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index today, while the gauge of energy shares declined 0.2 percent, paring this months gain to 4.4 percent. Gazprom, Russias biggest natural-gas producer, lost as much as 2.2 percent in Moscow, its first drop in three days. The company reduced its production plan for the Bovanenkovo field this year, Vedomosti newspaper reported today, citing an unidentified company official. The move would lower the amount of tax breaks for Gazprom and may lead to pressure on the stock, OAO Gazprombanks Moscow-based analyst Ivan Khromushin said in an e-mailed note. Crude oil fell 0.6 percent in New York after rising the most in a week amid increasing crude stockpiles in the U.S.

Russia: Court Decides Not to Imprison Navalny

The court, therefore, suspended Navalny’s five-year prison sentence but upheld his conviction for theft, which prevents him from running in future elections. Navalny’s flare for catchy slogans and rousing speeches made him a powerful voice in the demonstrations against President Vladimir Putin during the winter of 2011-12. The protest movement has since fizzled, however, and Navalny himself has indicated that it’s time to find new tactics. With no chance to run for office himself, Navalny will have to find other ways to channel his political energy and preserve the unprecedented grassroots network that galvanized Muscovites in the Sept. 8 mayoral election. Navalny was convicted of embezzlement and sentenced to five years in prison on July 18, but he was released the next day in what some considered a ploy to make the Moscow mayoral race, where he was registered as a candidate, look as competitive as possible. He garnered an unexpected 27 percent of the vote against the Kremlin-backed incumbent. His growing public profile has made it increasingly risky for the Kremlin to put him behind bars. Navalny lambasted the trial, saying the original sentence had been handed down “on instructions from Moscow” and that the “political motivation of this case is absolutely clear.” The charges against him date back to when he worked as an unpaid adviser to the provincial governor in Kirov. Prosecutors said he was part of a group that in 2009 embezzled 16 million rubles ($500,000) worth of timber from the state-owned company Kirovles. He has denied the charges. The defense said a company run by Pyotr Ofitserov Navalny’s co-defendant, who also was given a suspended sentence of five years bought the timber for 14 million rubles and sold it for 16 million rubles in a regular commercial transaction.

It keeps getting worse. Scientists in Siberia just found a new and more viral strain of HIV and said it was spreading fast. Its the 1980s in Russia. A scientific research center in Siberia said Wednesday that it discovered a new strain of HIV the virus that causes AIDS and that it is spreading throughout Russia at a rapid rate, RIA Novosti newswire reported today. The subtype was detected in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk in 2006 and now accounts for more than 50% of new HIV infections in the region, Novosibirsks Koltsovo science city said in a statement. The number of HIV-positive people living in the Novosibirsk Region has leaped from about 2,000 in 2007 up to 15,000 in 2012, according to Russias Federal AIDS Center. Natalya Gashnikova, head of the retroviruses department at the Vektor state biotechnology research center at Koltsovo said this might be the worst HIV strain in Russia. RIA reported her saying that the virus spreads much faster than Russias current leading HIV strain. This new strain is not limited Siberia. It has also been found in patient lab tests in Chechnya, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, the institute said. According to the United Nations, Eastern Europe and Central Asia are the only regions in the world where the HIV infection is on the rise. Fifty-two percent of the HIV-positive people that live across that area are in Russia. The World Bank estimates that in 2020, Russia will lose 20,000 people per month to AIDS.