Following the outstanding performance of the first quarter, April and May were marked by a slump
in the Russian stock market, in what was essentially a repeat of last year’s pattern. Naturally, it takes
more than seasonality to generate impacts on this scale – alongside the worsening European and
Asian growth outlook, the primary factor is the coincidence of conflicts that impact oil prices. While
in the first months of last year the “Arab Spring” and the Libyan civil war sent the oil price spiralling
upwards, in the first quarter of this year the same role was fulfilled by the growing tensions in Iran.
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