MOSCOW, Feb 14 (Reuters) - The Russian rouble opened stronger on Thursday, supported by rising oil prices, but the stock market was under pressure from proposed new U.S. sanctions.
At 0713 GMT, the rouble was 0.13 percent stronger against the dollar at 66.43. It lost 0.02 percent to trade at 74.92 versus the euro.
Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, was up 0.99 percent at $64.24 a barrel.
U.S. Republican and Democratic senators have prepared a bill seeking to punish Russia for meddling in U.S. elections and for its aggression in Ukraine. It would impose sanctions on banking, energy and foreign debt — a tougher version of a proposal last year that failed to pass.
Russian stock indexes were down. The dollar-denominated RTS index was down 1.5 percent to 1,173.4 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 0.56 percent lower at 2,472.7 points.
Russian state bank VTB was down 1.74 percent. Sberbank has lost 2.1 percent.
Russia has the tools to shield its economy from possible new U.S. sanctions, and the central bank and finance ministry have already created a buffer to protect the country’s banks, the Russian finance minister said on Thursday.
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Reporting by Katya Golubkova, additional reporting by Vladimir Abramov and Darya Korsunskaya; editing by Larry King