MOSCOW, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Russian stocks slipped on Thursday as investors locked in profits at eight-month highs following a U.S. deal to avoid a debt default, while the rouble also eased after posting its biggest daily gain in more than two weeks on Wednesday.
At 0644 GMT the rouble-denominated MICEX was down 0.6 percent to 1522 points. The dollar-denominated RTS fell 0.5 percent to 1494 points.
'The relief and long-awaited break of the (U.S. budget)impasse will take away a catalyst for the market and could lead to profit-taking rather then further gains,' analysts at Alfa Bank said in a note, adding that the focus would now shift back to economic data.
Oil and gas stocks underperformed the index, falling 0.6 percent.
The United States passed legislation to avoid a damaging default on government debt and to reopen federal agencies early on Thursday, meeting market expectations.
However, the deal offered only a temporary fix, meaning Americans face the possibility of another government shutdown early next year.
The rouble was flat against the dollar at 32.10 and fell 0.3 percent versus the euro to 43.53
The rouble fell to 37.24 against the dollar-euro basket, trading within the central bank non-intervention zone of 34.30-37.40.
'I expected the rouble to strengthen and the dollar to fall below 32 (this morning), but a number of big players are buying the cheaper foreign exchange,' a dealer at a Western bank said, explaining the reason for the rouble's restrained reaction.
For rouble poll data see
For Russian equities guide see
For Russian treasury bonds see
Russia in graphics: http://link.reuters.com/dun63s
(Additional reporting by Vladimir Abramov; Reporting by Maya Dyakina, editing by Jason Bush and Gareth Jones) Keywords: RUSSIA MARKETS/
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