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Rouble slips, stocks up before Putin's press conference

MOSCOW, Dec 14 (Reuters) - The Russian rouble eased, while stocks inched higher on Thursday ahead of an annual press conference by President Vladimir Putin.

Putin's televised Q&A session, which usually goes on for several hours and touches on various subjects from the domestic economy to foreign policy, is due to start at 0900 GMT.

Sberbank, Russia's largest bank, is also in focus as it may shed light on dividend plans and earnings forecasts at its investor day in London.

At 0730 GMT, the rouble was down 0.1 percent against the dollar to 58.69 after firming overnight to its strongest so far this month at 58.53.

Against the euro, the rouble weakened 0.2 percent to 69.39 .

Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia's main export, was up 0.7 percent at $62.86 a barrel, playing a supportive role for Russian assets.

The dollar-denominated RTS index climbed 0.6 percent to 1,148.8 points, while the rouble-based MOEX Russian index , previously known as MICEX, was 0.4 percent higher at 2,140.7 points.

Shares in Russian business conglomerate Sistema were up 0.1 percent after falling as much as 9.4 percent on Wednesday after a Russian court froze around $1.7 billion of its assets.

For rouble poll data see reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=cpurl://apps.cp./Apps/fx-polls?RIC=RUB=

For Russian equities guide see

For Russian treasury bonds see

Russia in graphics: http://link.reuters.com/dun63s (Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Mark Potter)