(Recasts to lead on rouble, updates share prices)
MOSCOW, July 29 The rouble hit its lowest in
over two months on Tuesday as investors awaited a new round of
economic sanctions from the European Union over the Ukraine
crisis, but Russian shares rose after steep falls in the
EU diplomats are holding talks on imposing broad economic
sanctions on Russia, targeting capital markets, defence and
sensitive technology, while the United States has promised to
ratchet up its own penalties.
The rouble was 0.27 percent weaker at 35.64 against the
dollar and 0.31 percent lower at 47.86 against
the euro at 1220 GMT after earlier touching lows
last seen in early May.
It was 0.23 percent weaker at 41.12 versus the dollar-euro
basket the central bank uses to guide the rouble's nominal
"Market participants are preferring to avoid risk in
anticipation of the new EU sanctions on Russia," Ivan Kopeikin,
an analyst at BCS brokerage, said in a note.
Russian equities were firmer, however, with the
dollar-denominated RTS share index 0.5 percent higher at
1,215.2 points after falling 3 percent on Monday. The
rouble-traded MICEX rose 0.9 percent to 1,374.7 points.
"Yesterday our market fell on rumours, and foreign media
wrote about the EU's plans to introduce sanctions on specific
sectors, ... but today, as usually happens, the previous day's
fears have no effect," said an equities salesman at a large
Russian investment company.
Geldy Soyunov, a senior analyst at Alfa Bank in Moscow, said
equities were moving sharply due to thin volumes over the summer
holiday period and that a new wave of Western sanctions could
prompt a short, sharp sell-off in Russian assets.
"At the moment we don't know what the sanctions will be and
which companies they will affect. If they are real sectoral
sanctions as promised, then we will see a completely different
valuation for all companies in those sectors. They will not look
cheap at current levels," he said.
For rouble poll data see
For Russian equities guide see
For Russian treasury bonds see
Russia in graphics: link.reuters.com/dun63s
(Reporting Alexander Winning, Lidia Kelly and Zlata Garasyuta;
Editing by Hugh Lawson and Susan Fenton)