Emerging FX bounce back, tech stocks suffer on trade woes

By Karin Strohecker

LONDON, Sept 7 : A tepid dollar provided emerging currencies with some breathing space following a torrid start to the week, but Asian equities suffered on Friday after trade tensions and tech troubles haunted developing market exporters.

Turkey’s lira and South Africa’s rand jumped some 1.5 percent after suffering hefty losses earlier in the week and helping the wider EM currency index to snap a three day losing streak to eke out small gains.

India’s rupee and Indonesia’s rupiah gained around 0.5 percent after plumbing record lows in recent days.

Emerging markets have been roiled by a selloff prompted by economic crises in Turkey and Argentina. South Africa tipping unexpectedly into recession this week added to the sombre mood, while investors were also closely watching key U.S. jobs data due later in the day.

“We had a few wheels falling off the EM lorry, and that has tainted the whole universe – we had some classic contagion on the back of that,” said Paul Fage, senior emerging markets strategist at TD Securities.

“We are seeing a bit of a recovery today after the beating we have had over the past few days and weeks.” Russia’s rouble bounced off its 2-1/2 year low hit on Thursday as markets worried over possible new U.S. sanctions.

Yet domestic bond markets across developing nations showed there was no let up in the pressure, with yields rising in many markets pointing to higher risk premiums being built in and inflation expectations on the increase.

Yields for 10-year sovereign bonds in Russia and South Africa were above 9 percent, while those in Indonesia and India topped 8 percent.

Emerging equity markets also painted a mixed picture.

While the broader index snapped a seven day losing streak to rise 0.4 percent, emerging tech and IT stocks fell 0.4 percent and were on track for their worst week in nearly six months. A slump in U.S. chip stocks and reports that U.S. President Donald Trump had also weighed a trade scrap with Japan dragged on tech-heavy Asian bourses.

Nerves were also frayed over Washington potentially slapping fresh tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese imports after the end of the public consultation. Tariffs could now go into effect at any moment, though there was no clear timetable. Meanwhile, China has vowed to retaliate.


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