Russian rouble edges lower, hovers near 73 vs dollar
MOSCOW, Sept 24 (Reuters) - The rouble edged lower on Friday, hovering near the 73-mark versus the dollar, pressured by fears of further sanctions on Russia's sovereign debt market and worries over the fate of debt-ridden property developer China Evergrande Group EGRNY.
At 0832 GMT, the rouble was 0.1% weaker against the dollar at 72.94 RUBUTSTN=MCX and had lost 0.1% to trade at 85.60 versus the euro EURRUBTN=MCX.
China Evergrande inched closer on Friday to a potential default, missing a payment deadline in one of the clearest indications yet that the developer whose debt struggles have spooked markets is in dire trouble. nL1N2QQ02J
A headwind for the rouble is the renewed threat of more U.S. sanctions on Russia's sovereign debt market, which raised volatility in the government's OFZ treasury bond market in the previous session.
Yields on 10-year benchmark OFZ treasury bonds, which move inversely to their prices, touched 7.27% on Thursday, matching their highest mark since mid-July, but had returned to 7.24% on Friday RU10YT=RR.
"The biggest concern regarding the rouble's stability comes from OFZ dynamics," said Alor Broker in a note, attributing a sell-off in Russian government debt to the U.S. proposals, but acknowledging that whether a decision would be made was still up in the air.
Risk appetite remained strong, with Brent crude oil LCOc1, a global benchmark for Russia's main export, up 0.4% at $77.56 a barrel, earlier reaching its highest mark since early July as investors focused on tighter supplies. nL4N2QQ0FW
Russian stock indexes were lower, but not far from record highs reached last week.
The dollar-denominated RTS index .IRTS was down 0.5% to 1,744.4 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index .IMOEX was 0.3% lower at 4,039.5 points, close to an all-time high of 4,081.98 points hit on Sept. 15.
Shares in Russian natural gas producer Novatek NOVKY slipped around 1.7% in Moscow after the company's finance chief Mark Gyetvay was arrested in the United States on tax charges related to $93 million hidden in offshore accounts. nL8N2QQ160
For Russian equities guide see RU/EQUITY
For Russian treasury bonds see 0#RUTSY=MM
(Reporting by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)