EMERGING MARKETS-Stocks buoyed by China data, but set for worst quarter since 2008

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
EMERGING MARKETS-Stocks buoyed by China data, but set for worst quarter since 2008
Credit: © Reuters.

* EM stocks down about 24% in Q1 - worst since 2008

* India stocks to post worst quarterly loss ever

* EM currency index set for worst quarter since 2015

* Currencies of Russia, Mexico lose over 20% in the quarter

By Susan Mathew

March 31 (Reuters) - Emerging market stocks were set to end a tumultuous quarter on a positive note on Tuesday, as unexpectedly positive factory activity data from China lifted fragile sentiment, while Russia's rouble jumped 1.6% as oil prices rose.

Following a positive handover from Wall Street, MSCI's index of emerging market stocks rose 1.7% after a weak Monday, but the index was set for its worst quarter since 2008, ravaged by panic induced by the coronavirus pandemic.

China's March factory activity expanded from last month's collapse, but analysts warn that it may not sustain in the coming months as the pandemic may sap foreign demand. Christensen, head of EM research at Danske Bank, said the China data "shows that we are not stuck in complete darkness without any hope of going back to normal" and attributed the optimism to falling number of new cases in Europe as well. expects the modest rally to last through the day with the U.S. consumer confidence data due later to be the next catalyst.

Among developing market currencies, Russia's rouble RUB= outperformed as oil prices rose after U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to talks to stabilise energy markets. O/R lira TRY= rose about 0.2%, while South Africa's rand ZAR= fell 0.2% to hover near all-time lows hit last session. FRX/ .J broader EM currency index .MIEM00000CUS was on track for its worst month since 2012 and its worst quarter since 2015. Commodity-linked currencies suffered the most with those of oil exporters Russia, Mexico MXN= dropping more than 20%.

Developing countries will need a $2.5 trillion support package this year to face the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, a U.N. report said on Monday. New cases in many EM countries continued to rise with Russia putting more regions under partial lockdown. most stock indexes of developing world economies in Asia, Europe and Africa were set for their worst quarter since the 2008 global financial crisis, India's Sensex .BSESN and Nifty 50 .NSEI indexes looked set for their worst quarter on record. .BO

Latin American bourses widely underperformed, with most indexes posting quarterly losses much higher compared with broader peers. Those in Colombia .COLCAP , Chile .SPIPSA and Argentina .MERV on track for their worst ever, while losses in indexes of Brazil .BVSP and Mexico .MXX are their worst in more than 20 years.

For 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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