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Russian ruble weakens as traders see no major measures in Putin speech

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[December 18, 2014]  MOSCOW (Reuters) - The ruble weakened against the dollar and euro on Thursday with traders saying President Vladimir Putin had so far offered no concrete measures to pull Russia out of a crisis at his end-of-year news conference.

At 0954 GMT (04:54 a.m. EST), the ruble was around 3 percent weaker against the dollar at 62.04 <RUBUTSTN=MCX> after opening more than 1 percent higher. The rouble was also around 2 percent weaker versus the euro at 76.50 <EURRUBTN=MCX> on the Moscow Exchange.

Traders said they saw no major measures from Putin so far to address the crisis that has seen the ruble collapse around 45 percent against the dollar so far this year amid slumping oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine.

They said market moves were exacerbated by thin liquidity and that small volumes were capable of moving the market by several percent, including trades not related to Putin's speech.

(Reporting by Alexander Winning and Vladimir Abramov, editing by Elizabeth Piper)

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