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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ruble Slips As Shares Finish Flat

On a day when equities settled down, the ruble took another plunge, falling to 28.7816 to the dollar in the morning session from 28.6035 per dollar Monday.

The ruble lost 10 kopeks Monday, ending nearly two weeks of increases, as the market reacted nervously to the fall in international stocks.

Dealers said the ruble was set to rise to about 28.70 against the dollar this week, as world markets have started partial recovery.

Shares ended flat Tuesday as recent turbulence on world markets left the local bourse without clear direction, traders said. The Moscow Times index of 50 leading shares ended down a slight 0.437 percent at 152.63 on thin volume of $23.42 million.

"Volume is thin ... and Western participation remains very weak despite Nasdaq's recovery," said Michael Stein, equity salesman at United Financial Group.

"We didn't suffer as much as other world markets did, but unfortunately the turbulence only added to the lack of clarity about our market and so we've not bounced back like Western markets," another Western trader said.

However, brokerage Renaissance Capital said that despite concerns about market volatility, the drop offered buying opportunities.

"At current levels we believe that the Russian market offers excellent value. ... Positive political and economic developments continue to support valuations, and on a technical basis, the 200 level on the RTS [Russian Trading System] should offer strong support."

Top shares ended little changed with national power grid Unified Energy Systems up 0.24 percent at $0.1644, while fellow utility Mosenergo added 0.91 percent to $0.0555.

Russia's largest oil producer LUKoil fell 1.09 percent to $13.55 and Surgutneftegaz was off 1.52 percent to $0.2600, while telecoms company Rostelekom bucked the easing trend to end 3.36 percent firmer at $2.77.