London - South African and Turkish stocks hit fresh record highs on Thursday, as stronger-than-expected Chinese exports boosted confidence in riskier emerging markets.

The value of Chinese exports rose 14.1 percent last month compared with a year earlier, data showed on Thursday.

Resilience in the Chinese economy is a boon for South Africa's mining companies, while investors have been bullish on Turkey's stock market, which rallied by over 50 percent last year.

Benchmark emerging equities rose 0.35 percent to three-day highs, and Chinese stocks rose 0.4 percent.

Emerging European currencies showed mixed performance.

The Czech crown hit a six-month low on expectations the central bank will step in to weaken the currency, though Czech stocks hit their highest since August 2011.

The Romanian leu hit an 8-1/2 month high against the euro, extending recent gains after a clear election win last month gave the Romanian government a mandate to negotiate a new deal with the International Monetary Fund.

The Polish zloty hit a one-week high against the euro, a day after Poland's central bank cut rates but signalled a pause in the easing cycle.

Polish Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski called on the central bank to continue cutting rates, however.

“We do not exclude that the (Monetary Policy) Council may make a break in Feb to avoid four cuts in a row, but should resume easing in March,” ING analysts said in a client note.

In Egypt, five-year credit default swaps fell to a one-month low of 465 basis points, according to Markit, after the country this week got a $2.5 billion lifeline from Qatar, while the pound hovered near record lows and stocks fell from recent two-month highs. - Reuters