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EMERGING MARKETS-Shares rise as China data boosts sentiment; Sino-U.S. tensions simmer

Published 2020/05/15, 11:01
Updated 2020/05/15, 11:06
© Reuters.
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* China industrial production rises in April

* Turkish lira on track for best week since February

* Rising oil prices buoy Russian rouble

By Susan Mathew

May 15 (Reuters) - Emerging market stocks rose on Friday as a rally in Western European shares on positive economic data from China lifted sentiment, but investors remained cautious amid U.S. President Donald Trump's worsening trade rhetoric against Beijing.

After a choppy session during Asian hours, MSCI'S index of emerging markets stocks .MSCIEF rose 0.2%, with bourses in Turkey .XU100 , Russia .IMOEX , South Africa .JTOPI Hungary .BUX and Poland .WIG20 gaining between 0.9% and 1.5%.

The pan-European stocks benchmark STOXX 600 .STOXX rose 1% as data showed China's industrial production rose in April after having contracted since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.

"News that China came out relatively okay in industrial production, that's a big part of it. China resuming business even though it might be slow has given some confidence," said Per Hammarlund, chief EM strategist at SEB.

China was among the first to reopen its economy after the outbreak was believed to have peaked in the country earlier this year, but a spike in new cases this week has stymied optimism.

Adding to woes, U.S. President Donald Trump sharpened his rhetoric against China, saying he had no interest in speaking with his counterpart in China and went as far as saying he could cut ties with the world's second largest economy. U.S. board charged with overseeing billions in federal retirement dollars announced on Wednesday it would indefinitely delay plans to invest in some Chinese companies. China shares .SSEC .CSI300 traded lower, while the yuan CNY= was little changed. .SS CNY/

The EM stocks benchmark is set for a second straight weekly fall and is likely to end the week about 1% lower, as fears of a second wave of the pandemic, rising U.S-China trade tensions and some sombre remarks about a prolonged recession pressured risk appetite.

Currencies took little solace from the dollar easing off three week highs. South Korean won KRW= , Philippine peso PHP= and Malaysian ringgit MRY= dropped between 0.2% and 0.4%, while most others Asian units traded flat.

Russia's rouble RUB= flirted with two-week highs as oil prices rose amid signs that demand for crude was picking up with China reporting increased refinery runs. O/R

Turkish lira TRY= was back below 7 per dollar and on course for its best week since February as it recovers from all-time lows. Reuters reported that Turkey has reached out to various countries for swap lines as it scrambles to try and shore up financing. 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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