Russian shares down, led by sanctions-hit Rosneft

MOSCOW, July 17 Thu Jul 17, 2014 2:12am EDT

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MOSCOW, July 17 (Reuters) - Moscow shares fell on Thursday following the announcement of new U.S. economic sanctions on Russia, sending shares in its largest oil producer Rosneft tumbling and hitting other energy, financial and defence firms.

The rouble-traded MICEX dropped 2.5 percent in early trading. Shares in Rosneft were down 6 percent within a minute of trading opening, and the country's No.2 gas producer, Novatek, fell 5.5 percent.

The rouble declined 1 percent against the dollar <RUBUTSTN=MCX RUB=>. (Reporting by Polina Devitt, Katya Golubkova)