LONDON, April 4 (Reuters) - Emerging equities fell for the
fourth straight session on Thursday, pressured by growth
worries, while Hungary's forint slipped on expectations the
central bank plans more unorthodox steps to boost the economy.
Emerging currencies were broadly weaker, with the rouble
approaching a five-month low against the dollar and the
South Korean won sliding nearly to six-month lows on escalating
military tensions with North Korea.
South Korean credit default swaps rose 1 basis point to 84
bps, the highest since last October, according to Markit.
While China was shut for a holiday, emerging Asian stocks
fell, led by Seoul which lost 2 percent at one stage.
MSCI's emerging index fell 0.6 percent
They failed to get relief from the Bank of Japan's monetary
expansion which drove sharp gains in Tokyo stocks and the yen.
'Emerging market weakness has been an ongoing theme for a
number of weeks as the market has been dragged into realising
that the emerging growth outlook is a lot more challenging than
they initially thought,' said Manik Narain, a strategist at UBS.
Narain noted weak export and growth data in a number of
emerging markets recently, including Brazil and South Korea.
'Investors are also questioning whether a weak yen is really
going to be beneficial to emerging markets,' he added.
In Europe, focus is on Hungary where central bank Governor
Gyorgy Matolcsy will hold a news conference at 0900 GMT and is
expected to announce growth-boosting steps such as offering
cheap funding for bank lending.
The forint eased 0.10 percent.
Societe Generale strategist Benoit Anne advised selling the
forint, adding: 'It is hard for me to imagine the central bank
delivering forint-strengthening measures ... simply because the
key policy focus has now clearly switched to growth.'
Another victim of the growth malaise is the rouble which hit
nine-month highs to the dollar in early February but has lost
over 6 percent since then. Losses have sped up this week after
data showing the worst quarterly growth in three years and the
central bank's switch to a dovish stance.
The currency lost 0.3 percent on Thursday as the government
announced steps to boost rouble liquidity and
stocks fell almost 1 percent to four-month lows.
Investors are focusing now on meetings of the Bank of
England and European Central Bank later on Thursday.
(Reporting by Sujata Rao and Philip Baillie; editing by Stephen
((email@example.com)(+44 20 7542 6176
(Emerging Markets Prices from Reuters Equities Latest Net Chg % Chg % Chg on year Morgan Stanley Emrg Mkt Indx 1018.93 -6.06 -0.59 -3.44 Czech Rep 964.18 -3.19 -0.33 -7.17 Poland 2330.65 -5.80 -0.25 -9.77 Hungary 17889.34 -41.50 -0.23 -1.56 Romania 5662.43 -24.77 -0.44 +9.96 Russia 1416.96 -9.03 -0.63 -10.10 South Africa 34900.06 +117.22 +0.34 +0.30 Turkey 84646.57 -213.50 -0.25 +8.23 China 2225.30 -2.44 -0.11 -1.93 India 18579.41 -222.23 -1.18 -4.36 Currencies Latest Prev Local Local close currency currency % change % change in 2013 Czech Rep 25)
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