Emerging stocks head for weekly gain

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Emerging-market stocks headed for the first weekly gain in three weeks as MediaTek Inc. led technology shares higher and Turkish equities rallied. Russia's ruble weakened for a second day versus the dollar.

MediaTek rose by the daily limit in Taipei after posting profit that beat estimates. Tencent Holdings Ltd. rebounded from a four-month low in Hong Kong. Turkiye Garanti Bankasi led the Borsa Istanbul 100 Index to a five-month high, while the lira slid for the first time in seven days versus the dollar. South Korea's won rose 0.3 percent. The ruble sank 0.4 percent and the Micex Index halted a three-day gain.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index added 0.3 percent to 999.37 at 9:32 a.m. in London, extending this week's gain to 0.6 percent. Economists project a report today may show the biggest increase in U.S. nonfarm payrolls since November. Ukraine sent armored vehicles and artillery to retake Slovyansk, a stronghold for pro-separatist forces, defying President Vladimir Putin's demand to pull back troops.

“The US payrolls data will give investors a clearer picture of the economic outlook,” Chanpen Sirithanarattanakul, head of research at DBS Vickers Securities (Thailand) Co., said by phone from Bangkok. “The global economic rebound has strengthened earnings of technology and electronics companies.”

The developing-nation gauge has dropped 0.4 percent this year and trades at 10.4 times projected 12-month earnings, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The MSCI World Index has risen 1.8 percent in 2014, and is valued at 14.8 times.

TECH GAINS

Seven out of 10 industry groups in the emerging-markets measure rose, led by technology stocks. MediaTek jumped 7 percent. The company reported first-quarter profit that topped estimates and JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Macquarie Bank Ltd. upgraded the stock's rating. Taiwan's Taiex Index gained 0.9 percent, the most in five weeks.

Tencent, Asia's largest Internet company, added 2.5 percent. The stock has tumbled 22 percent from its March 6 record amid concern that Internet companies are overvalued. Hong Kong's market was shut for a holiday yesterday.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland companies listed in Hong Kong rose 0.2 percent. Markets in mainland China remain shut. CSR Corp. and China Railway Group Ltd. surged more than 9 percent after an HSBC Holdings Plc report that China will boost railway investment by at least 23 percent to 800 billion yuan ($128 billion) to support growth. China Railway Construction Corp. jumped 7.3 percent.

TURKEY STOCKS

The Borsa Istanbul 100 Index rose 1.8 percent after a 2.2 percent surge on April 30. Turkey's central bank Governor Erdem Basci said two days ago policy makers could cut key interest rates if a recent drop in the country's risk premium holds.

The Micex fell 0.3 percent, snapping a three-day gain. Interior Ministry forces were dispatched at 4:30 a.m. local time to displace the militants from seized buildings and free hostages, including eight international monitors, Ukraine's minister Arsen Avakov said today on Facebook. Rebels responded with weapons including grenade launchers, shooting down a helicopter and killing one of its pilots, he said.

The US and European Union have blamed Russia for fomenting unrest in Ukraine's easternmost, largely Russian- speaking, regions and have threatened to widen sanctions to target Russia's economy unless Putin helps ease tensions.

African Bank Investments Ltd. tumbled 9.1 percent in Johannesburg, the largest drop in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, after saying it expects a headline loss in the first half.

The won strengthened 1.1 percent this week, its third weekly gain, as data today showed South Korean exports and imports rose more than estimated in April. Indonesia's rupiah and India's rupee added at least 0.2 percent today, while the Thai baht lost 0.2 percent.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index climbed 0.5 percent while Thailand's SET Index advanced 0.2 percent.

Bloomberg



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