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08/31/1998 16:40:01 Russian stocks end down as turmoil continues

MOSCOW, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Russian shares ended lower in

very low volume, traders said.

The benchmark RTS1-Interfax <.IRTS> share index fell 1.74

percent to close at 65.61 on a volume of just over $1.5 million.

Reuters composite index<.RRC1> ended down 2.13 percent at 46.95.

Many traders said they expected the trend would continue on

Tuesday in the wake of the parliament's refusal to confirm

Viktor Chernomyrdin as prime minister late on Monday.

"In my opinion, the rejection of Chernomyrdin's candidature

was already reflected in prices today," said UFG trader Anton

Abugov, adding that trade volume also had been affected.

Russia's main foreign exchange market, the Moscow Interbank

Currency Exchange (MICEX), remained suspended by central bank

order.

On Monday on MICEX's electronic SELT <MMVBSELT> system the

rouble traded at an average rate of 10.8376 to the dollar with

and was as low as 13.00 roubles to the dollar. It was quoted at

a 9.00/11.00 bid/offer rate to the dollar last Friday.

Louise Gibney, a saleswoman at Fleming UCB in Moscow, said

only a political deal that put Russia's reforms back on track in

the next few weeks could melt the frozen market. Otherwise, "I

don't think we'll have an equity market in Russia," she said.

"Some of these people don't realize how much investor

confidence has been wiped out," she said. "The immense

destruction in value of Russian equities is absolutely

justified."

Electricity giant Unified Energy System <EESR.RTS> finished

at $0.0301/$0.0345 bid/offer, down from Friday's close of

$0.035/$0.0340, and LUKoil <LKOH.RTS> ended at $3.72/$3.90 after

$$3.85/$4.05.

((Moscow Newsroom, +7095 941-8520

moscow.newsroom@reuters.com))

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