Beijing: Emerging market stocks slid off a more than six-week peak on Thursday amid cautious risk sentiment among investors, while developing world currencies weakened against a resolute dollar, losing all ground gained over the past two days.
Emerging market equities from China and Hong Kong to South Africa dipped, while South Africa’s rand softened ahead of a central bank meeting where borrowing costs are unlikely to be tweaked.
MSCI’s indexes of developing world stocks and emerging market currencies each dipped 0.1 per cent. Weakness prevailed in China as local stocks dipped and seasonal support from corporate demand for the Chinese yuan faded.
“Cautious market participants are still weighing in on emerging markets,” said Bianca Botes, corporate treasury manager at Peregrine, adding that continued strong US jobs data could boost the dollar.
The rand was 0.2 per cent softer, on pace to slip for the first time in six sessions. The South African Reserve Bank was expected to leave its key rate unchanged on Thursday, according to all 27 economists polled by Reuters, after having raised it to 6.75 per cent in November.
South African stocks dropped 1 per cent. Retailer Mr Price Group Ltd led the losses, shedding 13.4 per cent after posting slower sales growth for the third quarter.
Russia’s rouble eased, backing away from an over one-month high hit on Thursday. A 0.6 per cent fall in prices of oil, a key Russian export, tempered gains among local equities.
Moscow-listed shares of aluminium giant Rusal rose 3.5 per cent after the US Senate on Wednesday rejected legislation to keep sanctions on firms linked to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.
Turkey’s lira eased half a per cent, giving back a chunk of Wednesday’s 2.1 per cent gain, which came after the Turkish central bank (CBT) kept borrowing costs intact and issued an outlook deemed to be hawkish.
“We had expected CBT’s language to move in a dovish direction — indeed, there were forecasters predicting a rate cut already yesterday based on similar expectations — but this did not happen,” Commerzbank analysts said in a note.
The lira’s strength on Wednesday, its best day in close to two weeks, was attributed to expectations of a more hawkish CBT stance, the analysts said.