Stocks rise on China policy hopes; currencies strengthen

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Stocks rise on China policy hopes; currencies strengthen
Credit: © Reuters.

* Chinese central bank's support for economy lifts stocks

* U.S. treasury yields boost EM currencies

By Agamoni Ghosh

March 11 (Reuters) - Emerging-market stocks rose on Monday, led by Chinese shares after the country's central bank pledged more support for a slowing economy, while investors continued to digest Friday's weaker-than-expected jobs data from the United States.

Most developing-world currencies also gained, helped by softer U.S. treasury yields.

China's central bank said on Sunday it would encourage loans and lower borrowing costs, following data that showed a drop in February's bank lending. China .SSEC .CSI300 and Hong Kong shares .HSI rose, boosting MSCI's index for emerging-market stocks, .MSCIEF which recovered from a one-month low.

Other Asian indices also rose, with India's NSE index .NSEI reaching its highest since Sept. 26, as investors looked for a win for the incumbent party in elections that will start April 11. in Johannesburg .JTOPI gained, but shares of agri-processor Tongaat TONJ.J fell as much as 21 percent after the company appointed PWC to investigate past accounting practices. .J

Russian stocks .IMOEX were down 0.4 percent after a three-day weekend, with oil company Rosneft ROSN.MM sliding about 1 percent after a fire broke out at one of its refineries.

Most emerging-market currencies edged higher as U.S. Treasury yields fell after U.S. job growth fell short of forecasts in February.

South Africa's rand ZARUSD= moved away from two-month lows, although the currency remained vulnerable to domestic risks linked to power utility Eskom and the threat it poses to the country's sovereign credit risk.

Turkey's lira TRY= was little changed a day after data showed the economy contracted more than expected in the fourth quarter of 2018, its worst performance in nearly a decade.

The yuan CNY= fell against the dollar as global investors sought the safety of the U.S. currency amid rising concern over global growth.

In emerging Europe, Hungary's forint EURHUF= made marginal gains against the euro after data showed its trade surplus for January was lower than analysts had forecast.

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