By Anisha Sircar and Bansari Mayur Kamdar
May 20 (Reuters) – China stocks led emerging market stocks higher on Friday after Beijing’s larger-than-expected cut to a key borrowing rate, while a softer dollar sent an index of currencies to their highest level in two weeks.
China’s main share indexes .CSI300, .SSEC added 1.6% and 2% after Beijing lowered the five-year loan prime rate CNYLPR5Y=CFXS by 15 basis points (bps) to 4.45% to aid the ailing economy, more than the five or 10 bps tipped by analysts in a Reuters poll. Read full story
That boosted MSCI’s index of stocks .MSCIEF up 2% and more than 3% on the week to track its best weekly performance since mid-March. Most other EM Asian indexes gained between 1% and 2.2% while those in Turkey .XU100 and South Africa .JTOPI gained 0.4% and 0.5%.
Still, stocks have clocked losses every month in 2022 and were eyeing their fifth in May as investors remain fearful over the impact of surging inflation, China’s COVID-19 lockdowns and monetary tightening in developed economies.
“I’m not looking at a strong recovery from here – some stability in (China’s) renminbi has provided some temporary support this week, but the fact is we’ve got the strong dollar and concerns over European and Chinese growth very much still with us,” said Chris Turner, global head of FX Strategy at ING.
Meanwhile, EM currencies .MIEM00000CUS looked set for their first weekly gain in seven, lifted by a glum week for the dollar =USD which lost steam after a breathless 14-week surge and amid a retreat in U.S. Treasury yields. FRX/
Mexico’s peso MXN= and South Africa’s rand ZAR= were 0.9% and 2% stronger on the week, with the rand helped by a 50 basis point lending rate hike by the central bank on Thursday. Read full story
Turkey’s lira TRY= was the outlier, slipping 0.3% and down 11 sessions out of the last 12, with some upbeat data doing little to boost the struggling currency. Turkish consumer confidence was seen rising to 67.6 points in May from a record low in April. Read full story
“The strategy in place…is costing an arm to Turkey, which is why soft data like the consumer data isn’t fit to reverse the ugly mood or fears of seeing the lira crumble if the Turkish central bank were to let go,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank.
Elsewhere, Russia’s rouble RUBUTSTN=MCX saw its fifth straight week in the black, boosted by capital controls and domestic tax payments that support demand for the currency, despite growing global sanctions after its invasion of Ukraine. RU/RUB
For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance in 2022, see http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance in 2022, see https://tmsnrt.rs/2OusNdX
For TOP NEWS across emerging markets Read full story
For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see CEE/
For TURKISH market report, see .IS
For RUSSIAN market report, see RU/RUB
(Reporting by Anisha Sircar in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill)