EMERGING MARKETS-Stocks, FX in flux before U.S. jobless claims, China GDP

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
EMERGING MARKETS-Stocks, FX in flux before U.S. jobless claims, China GDP
Credit: © Reuters.

* MSCI EM stocks down 0.3%, currencies down 0.2%

* South African rand rises after three days of losses

* Sentiment hit by weak U.S. overnight data

By Ambar Warrick

April 16 (Reuters) - Emerging markets in Europe and the Middle East made small gains on Thursday, while their Asian counterparts fell after the International Monetary Fund forecast no economic growth in Asia for 2020.

Investors held off large trades before economic data from the United States and China -- weekly jobless claims and first- quarter gross domestic product -- which is expected to further reflect the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dismal retail sales and industrial output from the United States, released overnight, underscored the toll of curbing business activity over extended periods, with the readings in April only set to be worse.

The MSCI's developing world stocks index .MSCIEF fell about 0.3%. Currencies .MIEM00000CUS dipped 0.2%.

Some optimism persisted over the coronavirus slowing in its U.S. and European epicentres, but it still looked as if it would ravage the global economy in the medium term. The IMF forecast Asia's annual economic growth would grind to a halt for the first time in 60 years. recovery in risk sentiment depends on how quickly economies can re-open without risking overloading their healthcare systems and, most of all, not risking any chance of a secondary spread," said Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp.

"The risk of escalating economic damage is putting enormous stress on governments under immense pressure to relax social-distancing measures sooner, rather than later."

South Africa's rand ZAR= edged up after three days of losses. Stocks in the country added about 0.5%. Still, the country was set for a deep recession in 2020, with the coronavirus serving to further unsettle an already shaky economy.

The Polish zloty PLN= fell against the dollar, while stocks in the country .WIG20 traded sideways. Inflation in Central Europe's largest economy declined less than expected in March, data showed on Wednesday. Saudi Arabian riyal SAR= traded flat. Stocks in the oil exporter dropped 1.6% as oil prices recovered from 18-year lows, although fears remained over waning demand. O/R

China's yuan CNY=CFXS slipped ahead of the GDP data on Friday. Stocks inched higher. CNY/ .SS

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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