* Fed opens new dollar swap lines with 9 new foreign central banks
* MSCI's EM currency index lifts off 3-year low, up 0.9%
* S.Korean stocks jump 7.4%, Thai stocks up 8.4%
* S.African shares up 8%
* Russia cenbank decision eyed; rates expected to be held
By Susan Mathew
March 20 (Reuters) - Emerging market stocks were on course for their biggest daily gain in a decade on Friday, lifted by a positive handover from Wall Street overnight after central banks and governments further ramped up efforts to support battered markets.
MSCI's index of emerging market shares .MSCIEF looked to end a four-day losing streak, jumping 5.4%. The day's gains helped cut the index's weekly losses, which would have otherwise been its worst week since the 2008 global financial crisis.
The U.S. Federal Reserve on Thursday announced currency swaps with nine central banks - in which it accepts other currencies as collateral in exchange for dollars - for at least the next six months in hopes of preventing the coronavirus outbreak from causing a global economic rout. a seven day sell-off, South Korean stocks .KS11 surged 7.4% to post their biggest one-day gain in more than 11 years. The won KRW= rose 1.5% after the central bank said it would inject dollars using its $60 billion swap facility with the Fed. KRW/ banks of Mexico and Brazil were also among the nine which could tap up to a total of $450 billion, helping their currencies BRL= MXN= off record lows.
"The most important measure taken is the easing of dollar shortage because companies across the world have dollar liabilities that have to be met," said Koon Chow, an EM macro and FX strategist at UBP.
"All the measures by central banks up until now were aimed at their own markets, no one was trying to help the network, just the node. But the swaps help the network."
After Wall Street made gains overnight and as western Europe built on Thursday's gains, stocks in Hong Kong .HSI Taiwan .TWII , Malaysia .KLSE , Russia .IMOEX and South Africa .JTOPI all rallied between 5% and 8.4%. .N
The dollar paused its relentless march, tempered by the various liquidity efforts across the globe, helping EM currencies .MIEM00000CUS off three-year lows. FRX/
A rise in oil prices since Thursday helped Russia's rouble RUB= rise steadily from four-year lows. The rouble RUB= last traded up 1.9% at 77.753 to the dollar ahead of the country's central bank meeting later in the day. O/R
Rates are expected to be held steady at 6% and the bank is expected to announce measures to ensure financial stability. Africa's rand ZAR= firmed 1.8% after sinking 2% in the last session when the central bank delivered a 100 basis point cut in interest rates, double was what expected, to support the economy in recession. .J GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance 2020, see http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance 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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