Emerging market stocks fall

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Hong Kong and London - Emerging market stocks fell to a four-month low yesterday, led by consumer shares, ahead of a US jobs report that may support the Federal Reserve’s decision to reduce bond buying. The rand fell to a 2008 low.

Great Wall Motor dropped 8.5 percent to lead the Hang Seng China Enterprises index to the lowest since September 2 last year. Turkey’s lira traded near a record low and the rand weakened 0.4 percent against the dollar. Hungary’s BUX index rose the most this year, while Egypt’s shares climbed to the highest since 2011 after a referendum started peacefully.

The MSCI Emerging Markets index sank 0.6 percent by 11.33am in London, its weakest level since September last year.

Chinese stocks retreated as inflation figures pointed to slowing growth, the approval of 12 new initial public offerings spurred supply concerns and investors speculated trade figures due today will trail estimates. A US report may show initial jobless claims fell.

“There’s concern about strong US growth, and what that means for US monetary policy and tapering, and there’s ongoing concern about China” as well as inflation in developing nations, John Lomax, the emerging market strategist at HSBC Holdings, said.

Last year emerging market shares trailed developed nation equities by the most since 1998, leaving the benchmark index at the biggest valuation discount since 2004. The developing nation gauge trades at 1.5 times net assets after falling 3.5 percent this month. That is a 29 percent discount versus the MSCI World index, which is down 0.7 percent this month.

Nine of the 10 industry groups in the developing nation gauge fell yesterday, led by consumer-discretionary shares and technology firms.

Great Wall Motor tumbled the most since October 2011, the second-largest decline in percentage terms on the emerging markets index. The car maker said it aimed to sell 880 000 units this year, which implied 17 percent growth compared with 21 percent last year.

Turkey’s Borsa Istanbul 100 index retreated for a second day before trading stopped due to a technical glitch. Tupras Turkiye Petrol Rafinerileri slumped to the lowest since December 27 on a closing basis, bringing a three-day drop to 5.8 percent for the oil refiner.

Morgan Stanley increased its underweight stance on Turkey’s sovereign credit, cut its lira forecast and reviewed growth estimates, according to a report yesterday by analysts and economists including Tevfik Aksoy in London.

The lira, which tumbled 6 percent last month amid a corruption probe, depreciated less than 0.1 percent versus the dollar. The rand weakened for the second day and government bonds retreated on speculation that the Fed will end debt purchases this year.

Ukraine’s hryvnia also declined for a second day as Prime Minister Mykola Azarov predicted the nation will have stable prices this year, according to comments made during a government meeting in Kiev. The UX index of stocks fell as much as 1.7 percent.

Hungary’s benchmark gauge rallied 1.3 percent, towards the highest close in two months. OTP Bank gained as much as 1.9 percent, bringing a three-day rise to 4.1 percent.

Shares in Egypt surged to the highest level since January 2011, the month the revolution that ousted former president Hosni Mubarak started. Voting for Egyptians living abroad on a new constitution started on Wednesday, with a local referendum due to start on Tuesday.

Talks on more aid to Egypt from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia were successful, state-run newspaper al-Ahram reported, citing Finance Minister Ahmed Galal. EFG-Hermes Holding surged 4.8 percent as the bank approved a $144 million (R1.5 billion) share buyback plan.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises index of mainland firms in Hong Kong fell 1.7 percent. The Shanghai Composite index lost 0.8 percent for the lowest close since July last year.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission approved 12 initial public offerings on Wednesday, renewing concern that a surge in new supply will weigh on share prices, according to analyst Zhang Haidong at Tebon Securities in Shanghai.

South Korea’s Kospi index sank 0.7 percent to the lowest level since September 4. The benchmark gauge in the Philippines retreated 0.8 percent.

The country is marketing a sale of dollar-denominated bonds, adding to the busiest week for Asian sovereigns on record as slowing US stimulus threatens to increase funding costs.

The premium investors demand to own emerging market debt over US treasuries was little changed at 309 basis points, according to JPMorgan indices. – Phani Varahabhotla and Zahra Hankir from Bloomberg


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