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UPDATE 2-Rouble firms, hovers near 72 vs dollar after Biden-Putin meeting

(Adds detail, updates prices)

MOSCOW, June 16 (Reuters) - The Russian rouble firmed on Wednesday after long-awaited talks between U.S. President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, but later pared gains, hovering near 72 against the dollar.

The rouble extended gains as Putin spoke at a media conference, saying the two countries agreed to resume arms control talks and to return ambassadors to each other’s capitals.

At 1708 GMT, the rouble was 0.2% stronger against the dollar at 72.02, having earlier hit 71.62, stopping close to its strongest level since late July of 71.55, reached on Friday.

Putin called Biden a constructive, experienced partner, and said they spoke “the same language”, but added that there had been no friendship, rather a pragmatic dialogue about their two countries’ interests.

Speaking two days after the latest U.S. sanctions against Moscow came into force, Putin said the meeting had been constructive, without hostility, and had showed the leaders’ desire to understand each other.

“Should the two camps emerge with rhetoric that even moderately hints of a potential ‘normalization’ of relations, markets would gear up for another leg up,” BCS Brokerage said before the talks.

Against the euro, the rouble added 0.2% to 87.38 .

The Geneva meeting came as the Russian finance ministry held its weekly OFZ treasury bond auction where it sold 24.1 billion roubles ($334.6 million) of new paper after the latest U.S. sanctions barred U.S. banks from buying rouble-denominated state debt from June 14. Demand reached nearly 45 billion roubles.

Russian stock indexes finished the day higher, supported by rising Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, which climbed 0.2% to $74.17 a barrel.

The dollar-denominated RTS index rose 0.8% to 1,679.0 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 0.2% higher at 3,829.7 points, near an all-time high of 3,865.20 it touched on Tuesday.

For Russian equities guide see

For Russian treasury bonds see

$1 = 72.0188 roubles Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh Editing by Giles Elgood and Mark Potter

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