* China blue-chips rise; Feb CPI falls, PPI rises
* MSCI EM stocks index up 0.6%; about 8.5% off record highs
* EM FX up after losing 1% over last four sessions
* Eyes on U.S. inflation data due later in the day
By Susan Mathew
March 10 (Reuters) – Emerging market stocks rose on Wednesday, inching away from correction territory as U.S. Treasury yields stabilised, while currencies looked to mark their first session of gains in five.
With China’s blue-chips and most other Asian bourses in positive territory, MSCI’s index of EM stocks rose 0.6%. Main indexes in Turkey and Russia climbed about 0.7% each, although South Africa’s benchmark slipped 0.9%.
The EM index had briefly dipped into correction territory on Tuesday, losing 11% from all-time highs hit last month, as the recent spike in U.S. Treasury yields on inflation fears sparked a sell-off in risk assets. Yields stabilised on Wednesday following a well-received U.S. debt auction.
“One of the things about inflation is that we keep hearing that there will be a boom once everyone gets a (COVID-19) vaccination, but the street has a hard time finding it in the place you would most expect it, in the inflation data itself,” said Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at Axi.
“The direction is right, but the level is still pretty anaemic.”
While China’s factory gate prices rose at the fastest pace since November 2018 in February, the consumer price index fell 0.2% last month from a year earlier.
Eyes will be on U.S. inflation data due later in the day and U.S. President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package expected to be presented to the House of representatives.
EM stocks are now down about 8.5% from February highs, but still up 2.6% year-to-date.
While most Asian currencies weakened against a stronger dollar, a broader index of developing world currencies rose 0.1% after having hit a three-month low on Tuesday.
South Africa’s rand extended gains made on better-than-expected GDP numbers, while Russia’s rouble rose 0.2%.
After Tuesday’s strong rebound, Turkey’s lira traded flat as COVID-19 cases in Turkey hit a two-month high. Data on Wednesday showed Turkey’s unemployment rate fell to 12.2% in January from 12.6% the previous month.
The recent depreciation in the lira is adding to inflation pressure and likely driving the central bank’s decision over whether to further raise interest rates next week or in coming months, a top Fitch Ratings official said on Tuesday.
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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(Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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