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Russian rouble weakens ahead of three government bond auctions

Feb 1 (Reuters) - The Russian rouble weakened on Wednesday, paring some of the gains made late in the previous session, amid the reduced supply of foreign currency by exporters and ahead of three government debt auctions.

At 0721 GMT, the rouble was 0.7% weaker against the dollar at 70.28 and had lost 0.6% to trade at 76.37 versus the euro. It had shed 0.5% against the yuan to 10.40.

The rouble has now lost support from month-end taxes, when exporters usually convert foreign exchange revenue to pay local liabilities, but can count on modest foreign currency sales by the government, which is offloading up to 3.2 billion roubles ($45.58 million) worth of Chinese yuan per day.

Analysts have suggested that those sales, which compensate for the shortfall in oil and gas revenues, are having a limited impact on the rouble.


Amid lower foreign currency supply by exporters, the rouble may consolidate above the 70 mark to the dollar on Wednesday, Bogdan Zvarich, chief analyst at, said.

The rouble has been under external pressure since a Western price cap on Russia's oil sales came into force in early December alongside a European Union embargo on buying sea-borne Russian oil, forcing Moscow to sell at a discount.

President Vladimir Putin last month signed a decree that banned the supply of crude oil and oil products from Feb. 1 for five months to nations that abide by the cap.

Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia's main export, was up 0.1% at $85.6 a barrel.

The finance ministry is due to hold three OFZ treasury bond auctions later on Wednesday.

Russian stock indexes were mixed.

The dollar-denominated RTS index was down 0.1% to 1,000.3 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 0.3% higher at 2,231.4 points.

For Russian equities guide see

For Russian treasury bonds see ($1 = 70.2000 roubles) (Reporting by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Andrew Heavens)