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MOSCOW, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Russian shares fell on Friday, dragged lower by the country’s two largest banks, hit by European Union sanctions restricting their access to foreign capital over Moscow’s role in Ukraine.
At 0630 GMT, top lender Sberbank was 0.5 percent down, underperforming the rouble-denominated MICEX index which traded 0.3 percent lower at 1,375.9 points.
Shares in Russia’s second-largest bank VTB were down 0.9 percent on MICEX. The dollar-denominated RTS index was 0.5 percent lower at 1,213.2 points.
Analysts said investors were betting that the impact of the EU sanctions on the wider economy would be limited.
“In the investment community, they rely on the restrictions being mild and anticipate that the economy will not suffer any major changes due to their introduction,” Anastasia Sosnova, an analyst at Rossiisky Kapital, said in a note.
The rouble opened slightly stronger against the dollar and the euro. The Russian currency was trading 0.08 stronger at 35.72 against the dollar and 0.02 percent firmer against the euro.
That left the Russian currency 0.07 percent stronger at 41.17 versus the dollar-euro basket the central bank uses to guide the rouble’s nominal exchange rate. (Reporting by Lidia Kelly and Alexander Winning; Editing by Jason Bush and Elizabeth Piper)