EMERGING MARKETS-Turkish lira rises in muted FX trade as focus turns to Jackson Hole
* Lira tracks best week in more than a month
* Rouble treads water ahead of industrial output data
* Rand dips before release of rebased GDP figures
* Emerging market equities rise for third straight day
Aug 25 (Reuters) – The Turkish lira rose on Wednesday while other emerging market currencies were muted as investors turned to an annual U.S. Federal Reserve symposium for clues on how soon the central bank would begin to taper its pandemic-era stimulus.
The lira was up 0.5% at 8.3825 to the dollar and was tracking its best week in more than a month even as data showed business confidence among Turkish manufacturers edged lower in August.
Turkey’s currency – among the worst performers in emerging markets this year – is still down 11% at record lows with the country’s heavy foreign debt and the independence of its central bank seen as the main concerns for investors amid calls by President Tayyip Erdogan for lower rates.
The developing world currencies index was flat after two sessions of strong gains as focus turned to the Fed’s symposium, where investors will look for comments on whether the central bank would tighten monetary policy despite the threat from the Delta variant of the coronavirus.
“Even in this context, it seems too early for a concrete statement (from the Fed),” said Commerzbank analyst You-Na Park-Hege.
“The economic recovery continues and it will have to be seen to what extent the latest developments in connection with the pandemic might slow the recovery. Of course, things might turn out differently with Powell surprising the market in some way.”
The commodity-linked Russian rouble was treading water after gaining in the past three sessions as oil prices recovered from their worst week in more than nine months.
Data later in the day is expected to show that growth in Russia’s industrial output slowed in July from the previous month.
South Africa’s rand firmed 0.4% before the release of rebased GDP figures, which could result in a new estimate of the size of the economy, currently the second-largest on the African continent behind Nigeria.
Among South African equities, pharmaceutical firm Adcock Ingram jumped 4.7% even as it posted a 3% dip in annual earnings, while retailer Massmart rose 2.1% after it said it was in talks to buy a controlling stake in grocery delivery service OneCart Pty Ltd.
The broader South African stock index traded near flat.
A basket of emerging market equities was up 0.3%, recovering nearly all of its losses from the previous week, when fears of a sudden tapering in monetary stimulus had sent global financial markets tumbling.
The Hungarian forint rose to a two-and-a-half month high against the euro a day after the central bank raised its key interest rate and said it was starting a gradual withdrawal of its quantitative easing programme.
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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