Russian rouble slides past 60 vs dollar on sanctions fears



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This content was produced in Russia where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine

(Updates prices)

By Alexander Marrow

MOSCOW, Oct 5 (Reuters) - The Russian rouble slumped to a near two-week low past 60 against the dollar in volatile trading on Wednesday, sapped by worries about new sanctions as OPEC+ producers met to discuss a big cut in crude output.

The rouble has experienced significant swings in recent sessions, hampered by limited liquidity and investors' concerns that any new sanctions over Russia's actions in Ukraine could restrict access to foreign currency in Moscow.

New sanctions targeting Russian oil were also hurting Russian assets. EU sanctions aim to match an oil price cap agreed by G7 powers, diplomats have said.

"So far, the specific pricing mechanisms of the ceiling have not been disclosed, and accordingly, the reaction of the Russian authorities to this is not clear, and it is unclear whether Russia will deliver oil under such conditions," said Alor Broker analysts in a note.

By 1316 GMT, the rouble was 2.2% weaker against the dollar at 60.24 RUBUTSTN=MCX , earlier clipping its weakest point since Sept. 22 of 60.4475.

It had lost 3.3% to trade at 58.27 versus the euro EURRUBTN=MCX , earlier sliding past 59 for the first time in almost two weeks. The rouble shed 3.4% against the yuan to 8.48 CNYRUBTOM=MCX .

The Russian currency reached an almost eight-year high of 50.7250 against the euro and neared 53 against the greenback on Friday.

"Volatility of trading in the dollar and especially the euro will remain elevated," said Alor Broker.

The finance ministry cancelled OFZ treasury bond auctions scheduled for Wednesday, citing continuing financial market volatility.

Russian stock indexes were falling.

"The factor of geopolitics has not gone anywhere, so the indices should be clamped in a wide range for some time. However there can be short-term spikes in separate stocks, in particular, in the oil sector that is exposed to higher crude prices," said BCS Global Markets in a note.

The dollar-denominated RTS index .IRTS was down 3.4% to 1,063.2 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index .IMOEX was 0.6% lower at 2,034.0 points.

Brent crude oil LCOc1 , a global benchmark for Russia's main export, was up 0.7% at $92.5 a barrel.

OPEC+, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies led by Russia, looks set for deep oil output cuts when it meets on Wednesday, curbing supply in an already tight market despite pressure from the United States and elsewhere to pump more.
Reporting by Alexander Marrow Editing by Barbara Lewis and Mark Potter

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