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UPDATE 2-Russian rouble slumps to weakest vs dollar since late April


Rouble hits 73.3850 vs dollar, weakest since April 27


Reduced export earnings hurting Russian currency


Rouble also at late-April lows vs euro, yuan


Russian stocks under pressure after windfall tax proposal


This content was produced in Russia where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine.

(Updates prices, adds analyst comment, bullets)

By Alexander Marrow and Jake Cordell

MOSCOW, Feb 9 (Reuters) - The Russian rouble slid on Thursday to its weakest level against the dollar since late April last year, driven down by market demand for foreign currency and Russia's lower export earnings.

By 0940 GMT, the rouble was 0.8% weaker against the dollar at 72.83, after hitting its lowest point since April 27, 2022, of 73.3850 in early trade.

It had lost 1.2% to trade at 78.28 versus the euro and fell 0.7% against the yuan to 10.74 , touching late-April lows against both currencies.

Russia is now selling 8.9 billion roubles ($121.83 million)worth of foreign currency per day, compensating for lower oil and gas revenues, which were down 46.4% year-on-year in January.

Slumping energy revenues and soaring expenditure pushed Russia's federal budget to a deficit of about $25 billion in January, as sanctions and the cost of Moscow's military campaign in Ukraine weighed on the economy.

Interest rates were also in focus, with Russia's central bank widely expected to hold its key interest rate at 7.5% on Friday, but to express a more hawkish view, signalling that future rate hikes are on the cards, since inflation remains well above Russia's official 4% target.

"Uncontrolled growth in budget expenditures threatens unleashing an inflation spiral," said CentroCreditBank economist Evgeny Suvorov. "We very much hope that on Friday the central bank will give a tight signal, preparing the market for a rate hike in March."

Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia's main export, was down 0.1% at $85.1 a barrel.

Russia's stock markets fell. The rouble-based MOEX index was 0.2% weaker at 2,247.6 points, while the dollar-based RTS index slumped 1% to 972.3 points.

Russian shares have seen volatile trading this week as the government has eyed a one-off windfall tax on firms that have posted "excess profits". The tax could raise 200 billion to 250 billion roubles ($2.8 billion to $3.5 billion) to cover the widening budget deficit.

($1 = 73.0300 roubles) (Reporting by Alexander Marrow and Jake Cordell Editing by Gareth Jones)