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EMERGING MARKETS-Turkey’s lira jumps before free-trade deal with Britain

PUBLISHED: Tue, 29 Dec 2020 10:00:29 GMT

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* Expanded U.S. stimulus measures supports global risk assets

* South African rand slips on fresh lockdowns as COVID-19 cases spike

* Rouble slips as government says will scale down fiscal support

By Shashank Nayar

Dec 29 (Reuters) – Turkey’s lira rose for a fifth straight day before a free-trade deal with Britain is signed later in the day, while steps towards bigger U.S. stimulus measures raised hopes for a quicker global recovery next year.

The lira jumped 0.5% after reports that Britain and Turkey were set to sign a deal that replicates the existing trading terms. British trade minister Liz Truss said that she hoped a bespoke deal between the countries could be struck soon.

Most risk assets held ground on Tuesday on signs of expanded U.S. stimulus measures. The Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives voted on Monday to meet President Donald Trump’s demand for $2,000 COVID-19 relief checks.

“Most emerging-market risk assets are poised to gain as risks around Brexit and U.S. stimulus measures have disappeared, and markets are pretty happy about it,” said Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at Axi.

“The factor that seems to hold back most EM currencies in the near term is the demand for dollars as we approach the end of the year.”

MSCI’s basket of emerging-market stocks gained 0.5%. currencies traded 0.2% higher.

South Africa’s rand slipped 0.3% as the impact of a stricter lockdown in South Africa announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa weighed on the currency and the stock market locally.

South Africa on Monday tightened COVID-19 restrictions, banning alcohol sales and extending a nationwide curfew, as infections passed a million.

Currencies in central Europe made modest gains against the euro. Hungary’s forint, Poland’s zloty and the Czech crown rose 0.2% to 0.3%.

The forint gained after six sessions of declines after Hungary’s central bank governor, Gyorgy Matolcsy, said the bank continues to be ready to support economic recovery “with all its tools”, in an interview published on Monday.

Hungary’s benchmark stock index gained the most among its central European peers, rising for a fourth consecutive session. Turkish and Russian stocks gained nearly 0.4% each.

Russia’s rouble traded almost flat against a slightly weaker dollar after the government decided to scale down its state support of the economy in 2021, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said.

For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance in 2020, see http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance in 2020, see https://tmsnrt.rs/2OusNdX

For TOP NEWS across emerging markets

For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see

For TURKISH market report, see

For RUSSIAN market report, see (Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru, editing by Larry King)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020. Click For Restrictions – https://agency.reuters.com/en/copyright.html

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