Emerging stocks down on China growth jitters

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Manila - Emerging-market stocks dropped, extending the worst start to a year since 2009, after a gauge of Chinese factory output slid.

Turkey’s lira declined as inflation rose, while weaker exports in South Korea weighed on the won.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index lost 0.4 percent to 932.79 at 11:20 a.m. in London, taking this year’s retreat to 7 percent.

Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Co. plunged 7.8 percent after data showed South Korea’s overseas shipments shrank 0.2 percent last month.

The won decreased 1.4 percent from its last close on January 29, while the lira depreciated as much as 1 percent to the dollar.

China’s financial markets were shut for a holiday, while stock indexes in India and Hungary fell at least 1.5 percent.

China’s official Purchasing Managers’ Index declined to a six-month low in January, adding to signs that government efforts to curb excessive credit will cool growth in the world’s second-largest economy.

The MSCI developing-country gauge retreated 6.6 percent last month, its worst January since 2009, as the Federal Reserve further reduced monetary stimulus.

“We are in a bit of a limbo,” Neil Shearing, chief emerging-markets economist at Capital Economics Ltd. in London, said by phone.

“In some parts of emerging Europe manufacturing is strengthening, while it’s weakening in China. Throughout all of this sell-off, differentiation is key.”

Metals Decline

Global investors pulled $6.3 billion from emerging-market equities in the week through January 29, the biggest outflow since August 2011, according to data from EPFR Global cited by Barclays Plc.

More than $12 billion has exited the mutual funds this year, approaching a full-year outflow of $15 billion in 2013.

Eight out of the 10 industry groups in the developing- nation measure declined today, led by consumer discretionary and industrial companies.

Hyundai Mipo, a shipbuilder, was the biggest drag in percentage terms on the broader gauge, posting the sharpest loss since September 2011.

South Korea’s Kospi Index declined 1.1 percent as data released February 1 showed overseas shipments fell 0.2 percent last month, missing forecasts for a 1.5 percent gain in a Bloomberg survey.

Hindalco Industries Ltd., which manufactures aluminum, led percentage declines in Mumbai, dropping 5.6 percent and helping push the S&P BSE Sensex Index down 1.5 percent.

The price of the metal traded near a four-year low in London, as copper slid for the ninth day in its longest losing streak since January 1996.

Chinese PMI

China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index, or PMI, was at 50.5 last month, the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said February 1 in Beijing.

The reading in December was at 51. A number above 50 indicates expansion.

“There is scepticism about the strength of the global recovery because of the data,” Jonathan Ravelas, chief market strategist at Manila-based BDO Unibank Inc., said by phone.

“The numbers cast a shadow of doubt over the outlook for emerging markets.”

BHP Billiton Plc, the world’s largest mining firm, declined 0.8 percent in Johannesburg.

The FTSE/JSE Africa All Shares Index fell to the lowest level since December 24.

Hungarian shares decreased for the first time in three days and the forint strengthened 0.1 percent versus the euro.

The currency lost 2.4 percent last week, the biggest drop since the five days ended June 21, as the central bank signaled it won’t take immediate steps to stem the slide after cutting interest rates to a record.

Turkey, Poland

The benchmark BUX Index lost 1.7 percent, while Ukrainian stocks declined 0.9 percent and the Borsa Istanbul 100 Index was little changed.

The lira weakened 0.4 percent to 2.2646 a dollar.

Turkey’s annual inflation accelerated to 7.48 percent in January, the highest since October.

The nation’s PMI fell to 52.7 in January from 53.5 in December, while in Poland, the measure rose to 55.4 from 53.2, HSBC Holdings Plc said, citing data compiled by Markit Economics.

Poland’s WIG 30 Index climbed 0.8 percent, the biggest gain in emerging Europe.

Russia’s Micex Index fell 0.2 percent, while the currency was little changed against the dollar.

The country’s PMI fell to 48, the lowest reading since June 2009.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is valued at 9.1 times projected 12-month earnings, exceeding the multiple of 14.3 for the MSCI World Index of developing-nation stocks, which is down 4 percent this year.

Markets in Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam were closed for holidays, while Thailand’s SET Index was the biggest gainer in emerging markets after the nation held general elections during the weekend, defying efforts of protesters who disrupted the polls.

The stock index jumped 1.5 percent while the baht appreciated 0.3 percent against the dollar, its first advance in six days.

The premium investors demand to own emerging-market debt over US Treasuries fell one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 359, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. indexes. - Bloomberg News


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