The Russian rouble weakened on Wednesday, trading at 77 against the dollar ahead of two government debt auctions, as higher oil prices offset the negative impact of exporters completing month-end tax payments.

At 0723 GMT, the rouble was 0.2% weaker against the dollar at 77.08 and had lost 0.3% to trade at 83.44 versus the euro. It was unchanged at 11.18 against the yuan.

Month-end taxes, which usually see exporters convert foreign exchange revenues into roubles to pay local liabilities, were due on Tuesday.

Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia's main export, was up 0.5% at $79.1 a barrel, just shy of a two-week high.

The tax period has only paused the rouble's devaluation, with the Russian currency unresponsive to higher oil prices, said Alor Broker's head of investment consulting Alexei Antonov.

This suggests that the rouble could quickly head towards the 80 mark, should any, even weak, negative factors appear, he added.

Russia's finance ministry will hold two auctions of OFZ treasury bonds later on Wednesday.

Russian stock indexes were lower.

The dollar-denominated RTS index was down 0.3% to 997.1 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 0.1% lower at 2,438.8 points.


(Reporting by Alexander Marrow; Editing by David Holmes)