Russian stock exchanges had to halted trading again today (Friday) for the fourth successive day running, but this time the explanation was a rather different one - since stocks rapidly surged higher, following President Medvedev's announcement yesterday that the government was going to inject funds into the purchase of Russian stocks. Exchanges suspended trading after just hours of trading Friday after shares on the benchmark RTS and MICEX indexes shot up by 20 percent and 26.3 percent, respectively. Trading was only temporarily suspended and was expected to resume later today. Stocks bounced back after the government rushed through a series of emergency measures — amounting to some $120 billion worth of relief — in the shape of increased liquidity to the banking sector and share purchases on the domestic markets. In fact Russia's RTS Index, which had previously been the best global stock performer this decade, had turned into the world's cheapest, at least on the price to earnings ratio measure, since at the time of closure it was valued at only 5.6 times the earnings of its 48 component companies, the lowest of any among the larger markets internationally. Among the shares which surged the most were Russia's banks, and VTB Group and OAO Sberbank, Russia's biggest banks, benefited considerably from the perceived impact of the central bank decision to cut reserve requirements and the government pledge of up to $44 billion to shore up their liquidity. VTB jumped 1.63 kopeks, or 60 percent, to 4.35 kopeks, the biggest gain since the bank went public in the world's largest initial public offering last year. Sberbank rose 14.2 rubles, or 49 percent, to 43.01 rubles, its steepest gain in 10 years. Trading in both stocks was suspended for one hour at 11:05 a.m. Moscow time after their exceptional gains. Sberbank was suspended a second time on the Micex Stock Exchange at 12:58 p.m. For more details on the background to all of this please see yesterday's extensive review on this blog.