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EMERGING MARKETS-China shares slip, investors eye U.S. sanctions on Russia

PUBLISHED: Tue, 02 Mar 2021 08:58:46 GMT

* Beijing studying measures to manage capital inflows

* China shares slide more than 1%

* U.S. sanctions on Russia expected as early as Tuesday

* Rouble slides on the Moscow exchange

By Susan Mathew

March 2 (Reuters) – A slide in China shares on the back of asset-bubble warnings capped gains for an index of emerging market stocks on Tuesday, while the Russian rouble was in focus among currencies with eyes on U.S. sanctions.

Mainland China and Hong Kong shares fell more than 1% after China’s top banking and insurance regulator expressed wariness about the risk of bubbles bursting in foreign markets.

The regulator said Beijing was studying effective measures to manage capital inflows to prevent turbulence in the domestic market.

That kept MSCI’s index of emerging market shares steady despite gains in most other Asian bourses as well as main stock indexes across emerging markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It followed a day of gains when the latest market catalyst, rising Treasury yields, seemed to stabilise.

“Last week’s setback for stocks (on the back of rising yields) was a volatility spike rather than a fundamental shift in the market outlook,” said Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management.

“We continue to expect further equity upside, particularly for cyclically exposed markets and sectors, and believe investors should use periodic spikes in volatility to put cash to work and build exposure,” he said.

Against a strong dollar, most developing world currencies fell with South Korea’s won sliding 1%.

Declining oil prices added to woes for crude exporter Russia’s rouble, which fell about 0.5% on the local exchange . On the interbank market it traded flat against the greenback.

Sources told Reuters the United States was expected to impose sanctions to punish Russia over the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny as early as Tuesday.

This comes after some relief in the market that sanctions last week from European Union over the issue had been limited.

South Africa’s rand fell 0.2%, while Turkey’s lira erased some early losses to trade flat a day after GDP data came in below expectations but showed Turkey was among few economy’s in the world to have skirted a contraction in 2020.

“Economic activity indicators so far this year remain mixed, but broadly suggestive of a slowing albeit still-strong momentum,” said Credit Suisse analyst Berna Bayazitoglu.

“That said, as the monetary policy tightening has become more meaningful following the appointment of the new policymakers in early November, slowdown in real GDP growth will probably become more visible in the coming months,” Bayazitoglu said.

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

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For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see

For TURKISH market report, see

For RUSSIAN market report, see (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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