05:37 GMT +314 December 2017
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    Russian Ruble, Stocks Surge as Greece Passes Austerity Plan

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    Russian stocks and the ruble moved higher on Monday as the Greek parliament approved new austerity measures needed to secure a 130-billion euro ($170-bln) bailout to avoid default and investor risk appetite returned to the markets.

    Russian stocks and the ruble moved higher on Monday as the Greek parliament approved new austerity measures needed to secure a 130-billion euro ($170-bln) bailout to avoid default and investor risk appetite returned to the markets.

    Russia’s ruble-denominated MICEX stock index rose 1.60 percent to 1,549.55 while the dollar-denominated RTS surged 2.16 percent to 1,637.92 as of 12:04 p.m. Moscow time (08:04 GMT).

    The ruble gained 18 kopecks against the U.S. dollar to 29.90 and 4 kopecks against the euro to 39.63.

    The Greek parliament approved early on Monday the deeply unpopular austerity bill envisaging belt-tightening, wage and pension cuts while serious riots broke out on the streets of Athens and spread across the country.

    The bill envisages 3.3 billion euros ($4.35 billion) in wage, pension and job cuts as the price of the 130-billion-euro rescue package from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, Greece’s second since 2010. Greece needs the funds before March 20 to meet debt repayments of 14.5 billion euros.

    Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos earlier warned against failing to agree spending cuts, saying Greece was facing “uncontrolled economic chaos.”

    The bill is yet to be approved by the Eurozone finance ministers who are expected to gather later this week to decide on the bailout aid for Greece to help the country teetering on the brink of default to repay its massive 360-billion euro debt.

     

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