The Moscow Exchange index rose 7.7 percent on March 19 to reach 2275.7 points, a record for single-day growth since 2009. Interfax first reported on the sudden rise in Russian stocks, which stemmed from a corresponding uptick in the oil market.
On the evening of March 19, Brent crude oil prices jumped to a peak of $27.5 per barrel for oil to be delivered in May, a price more than 11 percent higher than the previous closing price of $24.8. The March 18 minimum price of $24.5 represented a minimum since 2003.
The sudden price increase on March 19 stemmed from proposals of stimulus packages in Europe and the United States. These included comments from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that, while vague, included speculation about buying $10 to $20 billion in oil, which “would essentially equate to a bailout of the U.S. oil industry,” Barron’s wrote.
Whether the spike in oil prices will have a long-term impact remains to be seen. The oil market collapse that triggered stock declines in Russia in the first place was caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which shows no signs of abating.