* 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 downgradedgrowth forecasts for Russia and Asia, while the rouble weakened on lowercommodity prices.
At 1352 GMT the rouble-traded MICEX index
was down 0.6 percent to1,468.94, 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 NataliaLesina 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 growthforecasts for the East Asia and Pacific region. The World Bank also slashed itsforecast for Russia's economic growth and warned of inflation risks coming froma tight labour market.
It encouraged Russia's central bank to keep focusing on inflation andincrease the rouble's flexibility, making the economy less vulnerable toexternal shocks.
Local market players were waiting for international reaction to theEurogroup meeting in Luxembourg for a clearer view on the euro zone debt crisisand 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 underperforma falling one, led the retreat on Monday, with Russian steel and coal minerMechel
down 1.8 percent.
Shares in Russia's third-largest crude producer TNK-BP
were up 0.8percent after its board of directors said on Friday it would discuss a possibledividend payout in the coming weeks.
Sberbank Investor Researchestimates the dividend payment at $0.13-0.16 per share.
Trading activity was lower on Monday, due to a public holiday in the UnitedStates, with overnight rouble exchange operations shut down
The rouble eased 0.9 percent to 31.15 against the dollar, taking its cuesfrom 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 mayincrease if the external situation stabilizes," analysts at Binbank wrote in anote, adding there were no triggers to get the Russian currency out of the rangeof 30.90-31.35 against the dollar.
Oil, Russia's chief export and the main source of its budget revenues, fell0.4 percent with Brent futures
trading above $111 per barrel.
"Columbus Day holiday in U.S. may lead to a lower activity on Russia's forexmarket but will not result in a lower volatility," said Igor Akinshin, a dealerat Alfa-bank.Russian Markets Latest Net % % ChangeChange Change on yearSTOCKSMICEX1468.94 -8.66 -0.59 4.76RTS1489.22 -19.50 -1.29 7.77London 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 17.23VTB0.05 -0.00 -0.86 -7.21Gazprom158.71 -0.36 -0.23 -7.35LUKOIL1931.00 -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 -3.14DEBT Bid Ask %Rtn CouponRussia 10-yr
7.68 7.65 0.26 7.60
bondMONEY MARKET Bid Ask CloseOvernight rate5.45 5.95 5.00
All data taken from Reuters at 1352 GMT
(Additional reporting by Vladimir Abramov and Zlata Garasyuta; Editing byCatherine Evans)
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Keywords: RUSSIA MARKETS/