* cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=stock-index-poll Reuters poll
* RTS index to rise 11 pct by end-2017
* Economic recovery to draw investors
* Oil prices expected to increase slightly
* Sanctions likely to stay in place
By Zlata Garasyuta and Alexander Winning
MOSCOW, March 29 Russian shares are forecast to
rise around 11 percent by the end of the year as investors turn
more bullish around economic recovery and a modest increase in
oil prices, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday.
The RTS share index enjoyed a bumper 2016, rising 52
percent as the rouble rallied and prospects for an easing of
Western sanctions grew with the U.S. election win of Donald
Trump in November.
Although the RTS is down 2 percent this year as the chances
of an imminent easing of sanctions have faded, analysts still
see grounds for optimism.
Russia's economy is expected to grow around 1.2 percent in
2017, after two consecutive years of economic contraction.
"Market participants are increasingly seeing an easing of
anti-Russian sanctions as a potential pleasant surprise, not as
their main scenario," said Vladimir Miklashevsky, a trading desk
strategist at Danske Bank.
"The main components of growth will be the lowering of
(Russian) central bank rates, an improvement in the condition of
the consumer and higher oil prices," he said, predicting the RTS
would end 2017 at 1,200 points.
The median forecast of 13 analysts, taken in the past week,
was that the RTS would end 2017 at 1,250 points, versus its
Tuesday close of 1,125.58 points.
Most analysts polled saw Brent crude oil in a range
of $55-$60 a barrel, higher than its current level of $50.3 a
Oil and gas companies have a weighting of around 50 percent
in the dollar-denominated index.
End-2017 forecasts in the latest quarterly poll ranged from
1,000 to 1,490 points, reflecting uncertainty as to what the
next nine months hold.
In December, the median forecast was for the RTS to end the
year at 1,200 points.
Victor Veselov at Globexbank was one of the most bearish in
the March poll, predicting the RTS would end the year at 1,000
points. He said higher interest rates in the United States would
boost the dollar and hurt the RTS.
(Other stories from the Reuters global stock markets poll:
(Polling by Zlata Garasyuta and Alexander Winning Editing by