EMERGING MARKETS-Emerging shares fall ahead of Trump-Xi meet
* China stocks close more than 2 pct lower
* Emerging market currencies subdued
* S.African rand retreats from 3-month high
By Susan Mathew
Nov 23 (Reuters) – Emerging market shares fell on Friday, led by mainland China stocks, as investors worried about Sino-U.S. trade tensions ahead of a high-stakes meeting between the leaders of the two countries next week.
The MSCI index of emerging market stocks was 0.4 percent lower, and on track to log a weekly loss of 1.4 percent due to a brutal tech rout, signs of a slowdown in global growth and rising trade tensions.
Analysts are increasingly sceptical about a positive outcome from a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the G20 summit scheduled to begin on Nov. 30, as officials of both countries have kept up the tough rhetoric against each other.
“We’re not expecting to see a major unwinding of the tariffs that are put in place. The best we can hope for is a ceasefire where both sides agree to continue to talk and that there are no further tariffs,” said Khoon Goh, head of Asia research at ANZ.
“I think markets are taking a realistic approach in the sense they are not pricing in a major breakthrough.”
Chinese stocks slumped more than 2 percent. Investors are also awaiting the November Purchasing Managers’ Index due next week for further signs of slowdown in growth or evidence of stabilisation.
Most stocks markets from India to Johannesburg were also well in the red.
The MSCI index of emerging market currencies edged lower despite a weaker dollar, with ANZ’s Goh saying he expects currencies to be in a holding pattern ahead of the G20 meeting.
The Chinese yuan dipped after official data suggested that the central bank spent more to prop up the currency last month.
South Africa’s rand weakened 0.5 percent, giving back some of Thursday’s gains after a quarter basis point hike in the official borrowing rate by the country’s central bank helped the currency hit a three-month high.
The benchmark interest rate was lifted to 6.75 percent as the upside risk to inflation in the long-term remained high, the bank said. Expectations among analysts and economists were split between the bank holding or raising rates.
“Unless we see another episode of tightening in the global financial conditions accompanied with higher oil prices and weaker rand, we doubt the central bank will hike the policy rate any time soon,” Alexey Pogorelov, an analyst at Credit Suisse said in a note after the rate hike.
The Turkish lira climbed 0.3 percent, and was on track to post weekly gains for the sixth week in seven. The currency, however, is still on course to log a yearly loss of nearly 30 percent against the dollar.
For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance 2018, see tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance 2018, see tmsnrt.rs/2OusNdX
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For RUSSIAN market report, see (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Ediitng by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)
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