* Russia's rouble set for a third straight session of gain
* S.African rand flat ahead of credit rating reviews
* Turkey's lira retreats from near two-month highs
By Shriya Ramakrishnan and Shreyashi Sanyal
Nov 20 (Reuters) - Turkey's lira eased on Friday but was still headed for a second straight week of gains after the central bank hiked its policy rate and vowed to remain tough on inflation, while South Africa's rand held steady ahead of credit rating reviews.
The lira TRY= fell 0.6% to 7.5959 against the dollar by 0858 GMT, as profit-taking emerged a day after the currency leaped to a near two-month high. For the week, the currency was set to record gains of nearly 1% after rallying 11% last week.
Turkey's central bank met market expectations on Thursday by raising its key interest rates by 475 basis points to 15% and pledged to sustain monetary tightening until a "permanent fall" in inflation was achieved. rate hike, the sharpest in more than two years, could stall the economy's recovery from the coronavirus pandemic but could also support the lira after it plunged to record lows this year on worries about dwindling forex reserves and inflation that is stuck in double-digits.
"I expect the lira now to not rally so much but to stabilize in the 7.50 to 7.60 range against the dollar for the next few months... for someone looking for a bit of carry the lira still remains very attractive," said Per Hammarlund, chief emerging markets strategist at SEB.
Analysts at RBC Europe cautioned against the risk of a Moody's downgrade after comments by the credit rating agency on South Africa's finance Minister Tito Mboweni's budget speech last month.
Moody's had warned South Africa's budget lacked detail on how and when the government will implement policies to boost economic growth, and so public debt would likely continue to increase for years. rouble RUB= strengthened 0.4%, in line with strength in global crude prices, the country's top export.
Emerging market stocks also fared slightly better, with MSCI's index of equities .MSCIEF in the space up 0.4%.
BofA said on Friday inflows into global stocks in the last two weeks soared to $71.4 billion, led by U.S. and emerging market stocks as encouraging COVID-19 vaccine developments led to euphoric buying of shares. central Europe, Budapest stocks .BUX jumped more than 1% after Hungary's prime minister said a dispute over the European Union's recovery fund and budget would eventually be resolved. 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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