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Rouble steadies as investors take stock of new Western sanctions on…

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MOSCOW, Feb 23 (Reuters) — The Russian rouble steadied near 79 to the dollar on Wednesday, clinging on to recovered gains made the previous day as investors took stock of Western sanctions imposed on Russia for ordering troops into separatist regions of eastern Ukraine.

At 0707 GMT, the rouble was unchanged against the dollar at 78.81 and had gained 0.3% to trade at 89.21 versus the euro.

Western nations on Tuesday punished Russia with new sanctions and threatened to go further if Moscow launched an all-out invasion of its neighbour, but the initial measures stopped short of targeting major financial institutions, meaning their impact could be minimal.

The United States broadened restrictions on trading of Russian government debt, prohibiting participation in the secondary market for harga pintu aluminium bonds issued after March 1, a move that analysts said might have a moderate impact near-term but could be a step towards a harsher measure.

Russia was celebrating the Defender of the Fatherland public holiday on Wednesday, but some trading remained open.

Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, was down 0.2% at $96.66 a barrel.

Russia’s dollar-denominated RTS index was up 0.5% to 1,233.1 points.

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(Reporting by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)