EMERGING MARKETS-Currencies at 11-week high as stimulus, upbeat data fuel recovery hopes

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
EMERGING MARKETS-Currencies at 11-week high as stimulus, upbeat data fuel recovery hopes
Credit: © Reuters.

* China services sector returns to growth

* South Korean shares gain on fresh stimulus

* Russian services PMI picks up from April's record low

* Weak lira bad sign for Turkey inflation - analyst

By Susan Mathew

June 3 (Reuters) - Emerging market currencies touched 11-week highs and stocks gained for a fourth straight session on Wednesday as investors bet on a strong economic recovery while keeping a close eye on Sino-U.S. relations and protests in the United States.

Asian shares rallied after data showed China's services sector returned to growth last month for the first time since January as the economy recovers from the impact of strict coronavirus-induced containment measures. Shanghai composite index .SSEC hit a near three-month high before closing flat, while South Korean shares .KS11 rose almost 3% after the government unveiled a 35.3 trillion won ($29.01 billion) supplementary budget to help the economy ride out the pandemic-induced slump. .SS KRW/

Bolstered by gains in Turkey .XU100 , Russia .IMOEX and South Africa .JTOPI , MSCI's index of emerging market shares .MSCIEF rose 1.3%, while its currency counterpart firmed 0.2%. FRX/

Indonesia's rupiah IDR= hovered at a 12-week high, supported by an extended rally in bonds. But the Chinese yuan CNY= traded flat, with investors cautious about escalating Sino-U.S. friction.

"This is a 'come what may' bet; that the (global) economy will re-open without major setbacks, leading to a sustained revival of economic growth," Mizuho Bank analysts wrote in a note.

The EM stocks benchmark index has risen almost 30% and currencies have firmed about 3% from March lows, with latest data pointing to a tentative pickup in business activity as several more countries reopen their economies.

Data on Wednesday showed euro zone PMIs improved in May, and while the Russian services sector shrank again last month, it picked up from a record low in April.

The rouble RUB= tracked oil prices higher, but Turkey's lira TRY= traded flat after consumer price inflation climbed more than expected in May. inflation drivers (expect a weak lira) are acting in the downward direction right now," said Commerzbank (DE: CBKG ) analyst Tatha Ghose.

"If inflation still returns to double-digit level because of spikes in the USD-TRY exchange rate, then we have a bad starting point for the coming recovery."

For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance in 2020, see http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance in 2020, see https://tmsnrt.rs/2OusNdX

For TOP NEWS across emerging markets CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see CEE/

For TURKISH market report, see .IS

For RUSSIAN market report, see RU/RUB

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