EMERGING MARKETS-Belarus bonds fall amid rising tensions; EM stocks slip

PUBLISHED: Mon, 24 May 2021 08:47:30 GMT

* Belarusian rouble down 0.3% vs dollar

* S.African rand slips, analyst says currency overvalued

* Mexican peso recovers after cenbank related slide

By Susan Mathew

May 24 (Reuters) – Belarusian bonds fell on Monday amid mounting criticism from Western nations over the forced landing of a flight, while most other emerging market currencies gained against a weaker dollar.

In what was described by some EU leaders as a hijacking, a passenger plane was suddenly diverted to Minsk, escorted there by a MiG-29 fighter jet on what turned out to be a false bomb alert. On its landing, authorities took journalist Roman Protasevich into custody.

EU leaders are set to discuss additional sanctions against Belarus at a summit later in the day.

The Belarusian rouble lost 0.3% against the greenback, while sovereign dollar bonds extended falls with the 2030 bond down ore than 2 cents.

“It will be interesting to see if there is any indirect implication on Russia’s relationship with EU and United States. This could increase tensions,” said Cristian Maggio, head of emerging market strategy at TD Securities.

Rising oil prices supported currencies of crude exporters Russia and Mexico with the Latin American currency inching higher after a slide last session, as investors contemplated possible replacements for the current central bank chief.

With a weaker dollar spurring gains for most other emerging market currencies, Turkey’s lira rose 0.4%.

South Africa’s rand, which has been enjoying a rally thanks to the central bank’s tightening rhetoric last week, fell 0.2%.

Ratings agencies S&P and Fitch affirmed South Africa’s sovereign rating and outlook on Friday, citing an upturn in near-term economic performance and improved public finances.

“The rand remains one of those currencies that have rallied way beyond expectations,” said Maagio.

“The rand is extremely over-valued and any correction is absolutely warranted by the macro economic picture, the risks of the country and even in relative terms, there are other EM countries in much better shape than South Africa.”

The dollar slipped as minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s April policy meeting released last week showed a sizable minority of policymakers wanted to discuss tapering bond purchases. U.S. inflation readings later in the week will be eyed for guidance on monetary policy.

Emerging markets stocks fell 0.2% with Hong Kong and South Korean shares weighing the most.

For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance in 2021, see http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance in 2021, 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 Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Giles Elgood)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021. Click For Restrictions – https://agency.reuters.com/en/copyright.html

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