Russian rouble hovers above 69 vs dollar after latest U.S. sanctions

Jan 27 (Reuters) - The Russian rouble steadied above 69 to the dollar on Friday, buffeted by geopolitical tension as the United States piled more sanctions on Russia but retaining support from a favourable month-end tax period.

At 0734 GMT, the rouble was 0.1% weaker against the dollar at 69.33 and had gained 0.1% to trade at 75.35 versus the euro. It had firmed 0.3% against the yuan to 10.24.

Russia described new sanctions imposed by the United States over its actions in Ukraine as "absurd", saying they would make it more difficult for foreign companies to do business.

The Russian currency should gain support from month-end tax payments, due on Jan. 30, when exporters usually convert foreign exchange revenue to pay local liabilities, but has struggled to make any strong moves this week.

Some analysts say support felt from large foreign exchange sales by the government, which is offloading up to 3.2 billion roubles ($46.11 million) per day of Chinese yuan, could be on the wane.

The rouble has been under external pressure since a Western price cap on Russia's oil sales came into force in early December alongside a European Union embargo of Russian oil exports, forcing Moscow to sell at a discount.

EU officials on Thursday said the European Commission was proposing that the EU set a $100 per barrel price cap on premium Russian oil products like diesel and a $45 per barrel cap on discounted products like fuel oil.

Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia's main export, was up 0.4% at $87.8 a barrel.

Russian stock indexes were marginally higher. Veles Capital analysts said that geopolitics were hindering growth and preventing any large-scale buying.

The dollar-denominated RTS index was up 0.1% to 986.3 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 0.2% higher at 2,170.5 points.

For Russian equities guide see

For Russian treasury bonds see (Reporting by Alexander Marrow)