LONDON, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Upbeat manufacturing surveys pushed the Hungarian forint to three-week highs on Friday and boosted Turkish assets, with the Istanbul stock market rebounding off the four-week lows hit earlier this week.
Broader emerging share prices were flat and the Polish and Czech currencies slipped as data in those countries suggested manufacturing was still shrinking.
The Hungarian Purchasing Managers' Index jumped to 55.9 in January from a revised 49.1 in December. A reading above 50 signals growth in manufacturing, significant for the recession-mired economy.
The forint rose for the fourth straight day, and was on track for the biggest weekly gain since last July, buoyed by the data as well as hopes the central bank could follow a more cautious monetary policy than expected.
However the zloty and the Czech crown weakened as the PMI remained stuck below the 50 mark, although the sector contracted at a slower pace than the previous month.
Analysts at Capital Economics wrote the PMIs had shown the first signs of green shoots, with Turkey benefiting the most but even Poland and Czech Republic showing improvement,
'New export orders component picked up in both countries, suggesting that the uptick in the latest leading indicators from key euro-zone exports markets, particularly Germany, is translating into stronger demand,' they told clients.
Turkish manufacturing activity hit a 22-month high in January as new orders and purchasing activity grew, signaling a recovery in economic conditions and pushing the main Turkish stock index up 1.28 percent.
The lira strengthened 0.17 percent to the dollar.
'You should expect the lira to depreciate in the long term against the G8 currencies for the simple fact that you still have a relatively large current account deficit and relatively high inflation,' said Lars Christensen, head of emerging markets at Danske Bank.
South African stocks rose to record highs for the third time this week on a renewed appetite for risky assets.
Emerging market equity funds received inflows of $3.6 billion in week to Jan 30, the 21st consecutive week of inflows, according to EPFR Global.
The Russian stock market was lifted 0.56 percent by metal and mining stocks. Bonds showed little reaction to news of a possible delay in a sovereign Eurobond issue.
Markets are awaiting U.S. jobs data at 1330 GMT.
(Reporting By Dasha Afanasieva; Editing by Chris Pizzey, London MPG Desk, +44 (0)207 542-4441)
(Dasha.Afanasieva@thomsonreuters.com)(+44)(0)(207 542 4673)(Reuters Messaging: Dasha.Afanasieva.firstname.lastname@example.org)
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