* Rouble down, hit by fall in oil prices
* MICEX down, hovers close to support level
(Writes through, updates with latest prices, comments)
By Maya Dyakina
MOSCOW, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Russian stocks fell on Monday, hurt by downgraded growth forecasts for Russia and Asia, while the rouble weakened on lower commodity prices.
At 1352 GMT the rouble-traded MICEX index
was down 0.6 percent to 1,468.94, while the dollar-based RTS
was off 1.3 percent to 1,489.22.
The key support level for MICEX stands at 1,465 points, Alor analyst Natalia Lesina wrote in a note.
Russian stocks followed a sell-off in Asian markets
concerns that China's slowdown could worsen, while the World Bank cut its growth forecasts for the East Asia and Pacific region. The World Bank also slashed its forecast for Russia's economic growth and warned of inflation risks coming from a tight labour market.
It encouraged Russia's central bank to keep focusing on inflation and increase the rouble's flexibility, making the economy less vulnerable to external shocks.
Local market players were waiting for international reaction to the Eurogroup meeting in Luxembourg for a clearer view on the euro zone debt crisis and were preparing for the third-quarter earnings season in the United States.
"We need truly positive surprises for a rally to start," said Oleg Popov, portfolio manager at Allianz Rosno.
"High beta" shares, which tend to outperform a rising market or underperform a falling one, led the retreat on Monday, with Russian steel and coal miner Mechel
down 1.8 percent.
Shares in Russia's third-largest crude producer TNK-BP
were up 0.8 percent after its board of directors said on Friday it would discuss a possible dividend payout in the coming weeks.
Sberbank Investor Research estimates the dividend payment at $0.13-0.16 per share.
Trading activity was lower on Monday, due to a public holiday in the United States, with overnight rouble exchange operations shut down
The rouble eased 0.9 percent to 31.15 against the dollar, taking its cues from the retreat in the global oil price.
The rouble also gave up 0.4 percent to 40.41 against the euro
and shed 0.6 percent against the euro-dollar currency basket
"The rouble has adjusted to lower oil prices. Demand for roubles may increase if the external situation stabilizes," analysts at Binbank wrote in a note, adding there were no triggers to get the Russian currency out of the range of 30.90-31.35 against the dollar.
Oil, Russia's chief export and the main source of its budget revenues, fell 0.4 percent with Brent futures
trading above $111 per barrel.
"Columbus Day holiday in U.S. may lead to a lower activity on Russia's forex market but will not result in a lower volatility," said Igor Akinshin, a dealer at Alfa-bank. Russian Markets Latest Net % % Change Change Change on year STOCKS MICEX 1468.94 -8.66 -0.59 4.76 RTS 1489.22 -19.50 -1.29 7.77 London ADRs
860.93 -12.05 -1.38 10.59
Emrg Mkt Indx
996.07 -13.09 -1.30 8.69
797.22 -10.40 -1.29 8.21
92.45 -0.57 -0.61 17.23 VTB 0.05 -0.00 -0.86 -7.21 Gazprom 158.71 -0.36 -0.23 -7.35 LUKOIL 1931.00 -4.20 -0.22 13.42
134.00 -1.20 -0.89 -11.84
31.15 0.28 0.91 -3.10
40.41 0.14 0.36 -3.17
35.32 0.22 0.62 -3.14 DEBT Bid Ask %Rtn Coupon Russia 10-yr
7.68 7.65 0.26 7.60
bond MONEY MARKET Bid Ask Close Overnight rate 5.45 5.95 5.00
All data taken from Reuters at 1352 GMT
(Additional reporting by Vladimir Abramov and Zlata Garasyuta; Editing by Catherine Evans)
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Keywords: RUSSIA MARKETS/