Nov 13 (Reuters) – Most emerging markets stocks edged up on Monday ahead of a keenly anticipated consumer price index reading out of the U.S., while Sri Lanka’s stocks and rupee were steady after the government laid out its budget for 2024.
MSCI’s gauge for emerging markets equities .MSCIEF rose 0.5%, snapping a four day losing streak underpinned by a 2.3% gain in Hong Kong’s tech sector .HSTECH.
A basket of currencies .MIEM00000CUS was muted against the dollar by 0912 GMT.
MSCI’s indices for EM equities and currencies ended the previous week in the red following hawkish remarks by U.S. Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell.
Investors now await the October U.S. consumer prices report and retail sales data due on Tuesday that could determine the outlook for U.S. monetary policy.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s rupee LKR= strengthened 0.2% and the local CSE index .CSE inched up 0.1% after the local government set a budget deficit target of 2.85 trillion rupees in 2024, amounting to 9.1% of GDP, which is higher than the current year.
The South Asian economy is showing signs of recovery helped by a $2.9 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund.
“Higher taxes and planned sales of government stakes in state banks are small steps towards fixing Sri Lanka’s fiscal and debt position,” Hasnain Malik, head of equity research at Tellimer said.
“But they lay Wikremasinghe open to a populist challenge in the 2024 election and do not address the much needed reform of state owned enterprises.”
India’s BSE Sensex index .BSESN shed 0.4% ahead of domestic October retail inflation data due after local market hours.
Economists expect the pace of consumer price inflation to likely ease further to a four-month low of 4.80%, closer to the Reserve Bank of India’s medium-term target.
Elsewhere, the Hong Kong’s property index .HSMPI was flat, pressured by a 1.9% drop in China’s Country Garden Services Holding 6098.HK after ratings agency Fitch said it plans to withdraw all the ratings on the sister firm of Country Garden Holdings 2007.HK on or about Dec. 12 for commercial reasons.
In eastern and central Europe Romania’s leu EURRON= was flat after data showed consumer price inflation was below expectations at 8.07% on an annual basis in October.
Among other currencies, Israel’s shekel ILS= weakened 0.1% and was last at 3.8 to the dollar even as its conflict with Hamas raged on.
Elsewhere, Kenya’s finance ministry said it has appointed Citi C.N and Standard Bank SBKJ.J as joint lead managers to assess the potential of borrowing in dollars in international markets.
(Reporting by Johann M Cherian in Bengaluru; editing by David Evans)