EMERGING MARKETS-Stocks break losing streak as Fed shows patience on rate hikes
* MSCI EM stocks index up 0.5%, currencies index up 0.1%
* Turkish lira underperforms amid monetary policy worries
* Gains in S.African rand limited by ANC’s poll results
* Chinese developer Kaisa plunges 15%
Nov 4 (Reuters) – Emerging market stocks broke a seven-day losing streak on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve signalled it is not in a rush to raise interest rates, while gains in South Africa’s rand were capped by the ruling ANC party’s poor poll results.
In an expected and well-flagged move, the Fed said it would start tapering its bond purchases and signalled it would wait for better jobs growth to raise rates, as it attempts to give the economy as much time as possible to recover from a pandemic-induced slump.
Emerging market assets, which have benefited from accommodative monetary policies from major central banks, welcomed the decision to hold rates.
MSCI’s index of EM shares rose 0.5% after losing about 2.7% over the last seven sessions with heavyweight China shares up more than 0.8%. EM local yields paused at their 5.68% peak, below the highs scaled at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
EM currencies gained 0.1% with China’s yuan firming 0.2%, while Russia’s rouble moved further away from three-week lows.
Riskier currencies thrive on U.S. rates staying low because they benefit from the interest rate differential that increases their appeal for so-called carry trades.
But strategists at TD Securities noted the modification to inflation expectations, which suggested members have doubts about its transitory nature.
“Taken in conjunction with the acknowledgement that full employment could be met sometime next year, this did not sound like a Fed that was digging its heels in to being patient on policy,” TD said, suggesting the good news for EM currencies may be short-lived.
South Africa’s rand traded flat as the African National Congress was seen taking less than half of the vote in local polls with over 80% of the votes counted, as of Wednesday, raising questions about the ability of the current government to continue with reforms as the economy struggles.
Turkey’s lira extended losses to the third straight session, less than 2% away from all-time lows.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said the central bank’s “confusing” policy approach and high inflation could harm Turkey’s economic growth, which it sees at 9% this year. President Tayyip Erdogan meanwhile on Thursday said he sees 2021 economic growth in double digits.
Later in the day, the Czech central bank is expected to hike rates by at least 50 basis points after Poland’s 75 bps hike on Wednesday. The Czech crown rose 0.2% against the euro, while the Polish zloty fell 0.1.
Ugandan leader Yoweri Museveni called for an African leaders’ summit to discuss the conflict in Ethiopia which had seen Ethiopian bonds sell off fairly heavily on Wednesday.
For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance in 2021, see tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance in 2021, see tmsnrt.rs/2OusNdX
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