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The Russian rouble weakened slightly on Friday, sliding towards 61 against the U.S. dollar, while stock indexes inched higher but lacked momentum ahead of the weekend.
At 0750 GMT, the rouble was 0.3% weaker against the dollar at 60.81, remaining in a narrow range between 59.45 and 61.45 for the ninth trading session in a row.
Against the euro, the rouble gained 0.2% to 62.52 on the Moscow Exchange.
Volatility in the rouble declined recently after wild swings in the previous months when it hit a record low of 121.53 to the dollar on the Moscow Exchange in March, days after Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, and then rallied to a seven-year peak of 50.01 in June.
"The Russian currency is likely to trade flat, but the closer the tax period at the end of the month, the stronger the rouble could be," BCS Global Markets said in a note.
Month-end tax payments that start next week usually prompt export-focused companies to step up conversion of their foreign currency revenues to meet local liabilities, which supports the rouble.
Russian stock indexes were up slightly, but analysts warned the market could feel pressure from profit-taking ahead of an expected increase in selling pressure next week when Russia starts the conversion of global depository receipts (GDRs) into shares.
GDRs of Russian companies that were traded on foreign exchanges and held in Russian depositories will be automatically converted into shares on the Moscow Exchange from Aug. 15 in an effort to reduce foreign control over such companies amid Western sanctions.
The dollar-denominated RTS index rose 0.3% to 1,109.9 and the rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 0.4% higher at 2,141.7 points.
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(Reporting by Reuters Editing by Mark Potter)