Jakarta - Emerging-market stocks fell, with the benchmark index poised for the steepest loss in three weeks, as gauges of Chinese manufacturing slid, while political tension in Thailand and Turkey escalated.
The lira headed for a record low.
Yanzhou Coal Mining Co. led Chinese coal producers lower in Hong Kong.
Thailand’s SET Index slumped 2.8 percent and the baht touched the weakest level since 2010, while Turkey’s stock gauge tumbled 1.7 percent and the lira slid 0.4 percent versus the dollar.
Samsung Electronics Co. sank the most in six months after LIG Investment & Securities Co. cut its price target.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index lost 0.7 percent to 995.94 as of 4:18 p.m. in Hong Kong, heading for its steepest drop since December 12.
The measure sank 5 percent in 2013, compared with a 23 percent surge for the MSCI World Index.
Data yesterday showed China’s official Purchasing Managers’ Index slipped to a four-month low in December, while a private report today also signaled manufacturing grew at a slower pace.
Nations from Germany to the US issue manufacturing data today.
“The Chinese PMI data is the biggest concern among investors today,” Akbar Syarief, a fund manager at MNC Asset Management, said by phone in Jakarta.
“Investors are trying to gauge how far the economic reform will affect its growth.”
The MSCI emerging markets gauge trades at 10.5 times its 12-month projected earnings, compared with 14.8 times for the MSCI World Index, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.3 percent.
The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland companies listed in Hong Kong dropped 1.1 percent, the biggest loss since December 20.
Yanzhou Coal declined 6.5 percent, the most since July 30, while China Shenhua Energy Co. retreated 2.5 percent.
China’s official PMI was at 51, the National Bureau of Statistics and China’s logistics federation said yesterday in Beijing.
That was less than the median 51.2 estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 29 economists and November’s 51.4.
A manufacturing index compiled by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics Ltd. fell to 50.5 in December from 50.8 the previous month.
The reading compared with the 50.5 estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 17 economists.
A figure above 50 indicates expansion.
Thailand’s SET Index tumbled to the lowest level since September 13, 2012, before a meeting today between the Election Commission and members of the ruling and opposition parties to find ways to ease tensions that have gripped the nation since October.
The baht weakened for an 11th day, the longest losing streak on record.
Turkey’s Borsa Istanbul 100 Index tumbled the most since December 26, while the lira fell 0.7 percent amid a political standoff between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the judiciary.
The lira fell the most since September 2011 in December as a corruption probe embroiled Erdogan’s cabinet and led three ministers to quit.
Erdogan, who labelled the probe as an attempted coup, fired hundreds of police chiefs and replaced 10 ministers in his 26- member cabinet last week.
South Korea’s Kospi index tumbled 2.2 percent, the steepest decline since July 2012.
Samsung Electronics, the world’s biggest maker of smartphones and televisions, dropped 4.6 percent after LIG Investment cut its price target for the stock to 1.75 million won from 1.9 million won.
Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp., the nation’s two largest automakers, dropped more than 5 percent after forecasting their weakest sales growth in eight years amid rising competition and a stronger won.
The won gained 0.5 percent, extending a two-year advance.
Harmony Gold Mining Co. and Gold Fields Ltd. climbed at least 2.7 percent in Johannesburg as bullion rallied from its worst year since 1981.
The Philippine Stock Exchange Index rose 1.6 percent.
The Jakarta Composite Index climbed 1 percent after Indonesia posted its biggest trade surplus in 20 months in November. - Bloomberg News