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Russian stocks down, rouble steady ahead of tax period

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* Rouble slightly up on oil, tax payments

* Russian stocks down ahead of U.S. banks' earnings report

MOSCOW, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Russian shares were set to end the week in thered on Friday, as investors remained cautious over the failing health of theglobal economy, while the rouble was steady ahead of monthly tax payments.

At 0824 GMT, the dollar-traded RTS index

had shed 0.3 percent to1,485 points and the rouble-based MICEX

was down 0.3 percent to 1,458.

Market players saw quiet trading in the first half of the day and expectearnings reports from U.S. banks JPMorgan Chase

and Wells Fargo

to define sentiment at market close.

Russian coking coal miner Raspadskaya

underperformed the marketwith a more than 1.0 percent fall, hurt by weak operating results for the thirdquarter

.

However, oil prices remain supportive of Russia's commodity heavy bourse,hovering above $115 per barrel of Brent

on the back of tensions betweenTurkey and Syria and strong U.S. jobs data.

The rouble firmed in early trading but then steadied against the dollar at30.99

and was marginally higher at 40.19 against the euro

and at 35.13 against the dollar-euro basket, which the centralbank uses as guidance for the rouble's nominal rate

.

"Upcoming tax payments will support the rouble, but any disappointment ofinvestors may break the current trend," analysts at ING bank wrote in a note.

The rouble and the Mexican peso

remain the most attractive currenciesfor global investors, said Mikhail Paley, a trader at VTB Capital.

Goldman Sachs analysts see the rouble steady at 31.0 against the dollar inthree months, supported by a higher current account surplus, expectations ofanother interest rate hike by the central bank and the liberalisation of thelocal debt market.

"In our view, the rouble is becoming a high-yielding currency in the currentlow-yield global environment," Goldman Sachs economists wrote in a researchnote.

Russia's local debt market remains attractive for foreign investors, withthe spread on six-year OFZ treasury bonds over Russia's rouble Eurobond maturingin 2018

narrowing further to 65 basis points. Its 10-year bondwas trading at a bid-ask split of 7.65-7.33 percent.

"Non-residents' interest in the local market continues to rise ahead ofaccess being granted via Euroclear, supporting interest in swapping expensiverouble Eurobonds in favor of the locally-traded OFZs, which carry a superioryield," analysts at Sberbank investment research wrote in a note.

Russian Markets Latest Net % % ChangeChange on yearSTOCKSMICEX1458,36 -4,76 -0,33 4,00RTS1485,64 -4,77 -0,32 7,51

London ADRs

857,00 -0,65 -0,08 10,09

Emrg Mkt Indx

998,03 2,08 0,21 8,91

MSCI Russia

793,98 -1,36 -0,17 7,77

Sberbank

92,53 -0,11 -0,12 17,33VTB0,05 -0,00 -0,29 -7,40Gazprom153,66 -0,59 -0,38 -10,30LUKOIL1938,00 -3,20 -0,16 13,83Rostelecom

133,56 -1,41 -1,04 -12,13

Dollar/Rouble

30,99 -0,02 -0,07 -3,61

Euro/Rouble

40,19 -0,03 -0,08 -3,72

Rouble basket

35,13 -0,03 -0,08 -3,66

DEBT Bid Ask %Rtn CouponRussia 10-yr

7,65 7,33 -0,36 7,60

bondMONEY MARKET Bid Ask CloseOvernight rate6,35 6,85 6,30TABLE FROM POWER PLUS PRO

All data taken from Reuters at 0824 GMT

(Reporting by Maya Dyakina; editing by Patrick Graham)

((maya.dyakina@thomsonreuters.com)(Tel: +7 495 775 1242))

Keywords: RUSSIA MARKETS/