Emerging-market stocks pare gains

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Seoul - Emerging-market stocks fell, paring a third straight weekly gain, as Tencent Holdings Ltd. tumbled on valuation concerns and investors awaited the release of US jobs data.

The Turkish lira weakened.

Tencent touched a two-month low in Hong Kong amid growing concern that Internet companies are overvalued. Naver Corp. dropped 1.6 percent in Seoul.

Malaysia’s Petronas Gas Bhd. tumbled 3.3 percent from a record high in Kuala Lumpur, while Cnooc Ltd. and PetroChina Co. rose among energy producers in Hong Kong.

The lira fell after the country’s prime minister urged the central bank to cut interest rates. The South Korean won completed its biggest weekly gain since September.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index slipped 0.2 percent to 998.00 at 10:07 a.m. in London, trimming this week’s gain to 1.3 percent.

Today’s US non-farm payrolls report is projected to show the biggest increase in workers since November.

The International Monetary Fund warned that emerging markets may suffer as growth slows in China, where the government this week announced policies designed to shore up the economy.

Chinese Internet stocks “have seen some selloff because valuations have gone up quite a lot,” said Daphne Roth, the Singapore-based head of Asian equity research at ABN Amro Private Banking, which oversees about $207 billion.

Tencent slid as much as 6.3 percent.

The stock has lost 17 percent since March 6, after a 1,266 percent surge during the previous five years sent its price-to-earnings ratio to a six-year high.

Naspers Ltd., which has a stake in the company, dropped 3.7 percent in Johannesburg.

 

US Jobs

 

A gauge of developing-nation technology shares slid 0.5 percent, paring its advance this year to 5.3 percent, still the biggest gain among 10 industry groups.

The MSCI Emerging Markets measure has fallen 0.4 percent in 2014, compared with a 1.5 percent advance by MSCI World Index of advanced nations.

US employers probably added 200,000 people to non-farm payrolls last month, according to the median of 90 economists’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg, the most since a 274,000 increase in November and up from the 175,000 workers added in February.

Developing nations, which are increasingly dependent on China for growth, may suffer as the world’s second-largest economy decelerates, according to the IMF in its latest World Economic Outlook report.

The probability of defaults in China is relatively high, Alfred Schipke, the IMF’s senior resident representative for China, said yesterday.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index added 0.2 percent today, while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.7 percent.

 

Won Strength

 

Cnooc climbed 1.7 percent in Hong Kong in a fourth day of gains. PetroChina advanced to an almost four-month high.

Turkey’s benchmark gauge rose 0.4 percent while the lira weakened for a second day in Istanbul as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey’s central bank should consider holding an extraordinary meeting to cut interest rates.

South Korea’s benchmark index dropped 0.3 percent and the Jakarta Composite Index slid 1.1 percent.

The won appreciated 1.5 percent from March 28 to 1,053.65 per dollar after an improvement in the current-account surplus and exports spurred inflows to the nation’s assets.

India’s benchmark index lost 0.7 percent.

The rupee has declined 0.6 percent from a week ago to 60.2575 per dollar on speculation the central bank will curb currency appreciation to protect exporters.

Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan said a rupee level of 55 per dollar would be “too strong,” according to an interview with the Mint newspaper published yesterday. - Bloomberg News



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