EMERGING MARKETS-Stocks fall, await stimulus as coronavirus spreads

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
EMERGING MARKETS-Stocks fall, await stimulus as coronavirus spreads
Credit: © Reuters.

* Mainland China, S.Korea, Taiwan shares decline

* Taiwan reports spike in number of new coronavirus cases

* BOE slashes interest rates, ECB decision due on Thursday

* Russian rouble weakens as oil price edge lower

By Susan Mathew

March 11 (Reuters) - Emerging market shares fell on Wednesday after Washington left investors in the dark about a stimulus package to combat the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

Earlier this week, U.S. President Donald Trump helped lift market sentiment when he said "major steps" would be taken to ease economic strains caused by the spread of the flu-like virus.

But, the lack of major announcements since then has left some investors unimpressed.

Asia shares weighed as stocks in mainland China .SSEC .CSI300 , South Korean .KS11 and Taiwan .TWII ended lower, as coronavirus cases spiked in South Korea. MSCI's index of emerging market shares .MSCIEF was down 0.5% at 0918 GMT.

"Emerging markets are waiting on recuse packages from governments, central banks," said Chris Turner, head of EMEA and LATAM research at ING.

The Bank of England slashed interest rates by 50 basis points on Wednesday and launched a slew of other measures. On Thursday, all eyes will be on the European Central Bank's decision.

Stocks in Turkey .XU100 , South Africa .JTOPI and Hungary .BUX rose between 0.9% and 1.2%.

But, markets are expecting a rise in coronavirus cases, particularly in the United States and western Europe which could squash any bounce in equities, Turner said.

Russian stocks .IMOEX were flat in volatile trading, while the rouble RUB= gave up early gains to trade down as oil prices edged lower. O/R

Saudi Aramco (SE: 2222 ) has been directed by the Ministry of Energy to raise its oil production capacity to 13 million barrels per day (bpd) from 12 million bpd, the company's Chief Executive Amin Nasser said on Wednesday. Arabia's move to increase production and slash crude prices had sent oil prices crashing on Monday, hammering currencies of oil exporters like Russia and Mexico.

"On the oil side investors are bracing for three to six months of lower prices, and the price war to continue. So I don't think people will be looking to jump back into Russian assets," ING's Turner said.

Turkish stocks .XU100 rose for the first time in four days and the lira TRY= traded flat. Central bank data on Wednesday showed Turkey's current account deficit in January was less than expected, while a revision of 2019 numbers saw surplus jump to $8 billion from a previously-announced $1.7 billion. between Turkey and Russia on the implementation of a ceasefire agreement in Syria's Idlib region are "positive, constructive", a Turkish new agency was reported as saying. Tensions in Syria had spiked dramatically recently, prompting Moscow and Ankara to reach a ceasefire deal. 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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