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The ruble stabilizes in the 83-84 range against the dollar, stocks fall


April 5 (Reuters)The Russian ruble stabilized in an 83-84 range against the dollar in Moscow trading on Tuesday, as stock indices fell slightly after four straight days of gains amid continued what Russia calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

The ruble has lost momentum in recent days after rallying sharply from record lows on the back of an artificial relaunch of capital controls and President Vladimir Putin’s demand that European consumers of Russian natural gas pay for it in rubles .

Negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv remain a focus after Russia sent tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine on February 24.

At 07:29 GMT, the ruble was 0.3% stronger against the dollar at 83.73 RUBUTSTN=MCXmoving towards its highest level since Feb 23 of 80.3325 hit on Friday.

Against the euro, the ruble gained 0.9% to 91.82 EURRUBTN=MCXmoving further away from an all-time low of nearly 132.42 it hit in Moscow trading on March 10.

The once-floating ruble has been driven by capital controls since late February. He shrugged off reports of new Western sanctions on Russia, but analysts warned his revival could be temporary.

The Russian currency could dip towards 85 to the dollar without an increase in foreign currency sales by export-oriented companies, Promsvyazbank analysts said in a note.

The market was also scrutinizing Russia’s ability to continue to service its external debt. The US has blocked the Russian government from paying holders of its sovereign debt more than $600 million from reserves held in US banks, in an effort to increase pressure on Moscow and eat away at its dollar holdings. Americans.

In the stock market, volatility has eased, with some blue chips falling after days of rapid gains since the market reopened in late March after a nearly month-long hiatus.

The dollar-denominated RTS index .IRTS lost 1.5% to 1,035.4 points. Russian ruble-based MOEX index .IMOEX was down 1.1% at 2,757.2 points after hitting its highest level since Feb. 22 of 2,835.46 on Monday.

Shares in flagship carrier Aeroflot AFLT.MM fell 2.3% after rising more than 70% since March 28. The shares of the largest Russian lender Sberbank SBER.MM and leading oil producer Rosneft ROSN.MM slipped more than 1% on the day.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

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