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MOSCOW: The Russian rouble edged down in thin early trading on Friday, a day after the central bank said it may cut its key rate by 50 basis points this month and as investors converted rouble dividend payments into hard currency.

At 0750 GMT, the rouble was 0.24% weaker against the dollar at 63.64 and had lost 0.09% to trade at 71.69 versus the euro.

The central bank's governor, Elvira Nabiullina, said on Thursday that the regulator would consider cutting its key rate, now at 7.50%, at its next board meeting on July 26, making rouble carry trade operations less appealing.

Trading was sluggish following the July 4 national holiday in the United States as traders awaited the publication of U.S. jobs data.

The rouble, like other emerging market currencies, came under pressure from falling risk appetite and was also pushed down as some shareholders currently receiving dividends converted them into foreign currency.

Russian firms are currently holding their annual general meetings and the deadline for many investors to claim their rights for 2018 dividends is next week, which may exert downward pressure on the rouble, Otkritie Broker's Konstantin Bushuyev said.

Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia's main export, was down 0.33% at $63.09 a barrel.

Russian stock indexes were lower.

The dollar-denominated RTS index was down 0.22% to 1,408 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 0.06% lower at 2,804 points.

Copyright Reuters, 2019