Emerging market stocks were on track for their steepest one-day fall in two weeks on Wednesday, following Tuesday’s decidedly negative lead from Wall Street, while most emerging market currencies clocked losses against a slightly firmer dollar.
MSCI’s index of developing world stocks dropped 1.2% while its index of emerging market currencies slipped 0.3%.
US benchmark stocks notched a 3.2% fall on Tuesday, with the US bond market sending unsettling signs about economic growth and investors worrying anew about global trade, with no immediate signs of a concrete US deal with China.
That slide set the tone for risk sentiment towards developing world stocks on Wednesday, said Jakob Christensen, head of EM research at Danske Bank.
Emerging market currencies edged lower as traders locked in gains made on Tuesday, when they scaled a near four-month closing peak.
“It’s partly trade-related angst along with the Fed’s dovish stance playing out but also some profit-taking after a significant rally by EM currencies in the past couple of days,” said Christensen.
Stock exchanges across Asia tipped into negative territory, with China’s Shanghai Composite Index down 0.6%, while Hong Kong-listed stocks sank 1.6% to record their sharpest one-day slide in more than two weeks.
Turkey’s BIST 100 index was 0.8% lower, with Akbank’s 6.35% slide leading the losses after the bank announced a capital raising.
The Turkish lira firmed marginally. The country’s central bank said it could directly intervene in the market directly in case of excessive volatility and “unhealthy price formations” stemming from speculation.
However, the bank said on Wednesday it would stick with a 5% inflation target for 2019, an ambitious goal given that the inflation rate now hovers at more than 21%, near a 15-year high.
India’s rupee was 0.1% stronger. The Reserve Bank of India kept rates unchanged on Wednesday, as broadly expected by the market. The bank maintained its “calibrated tightening stance”.
South Africa’s rand was 0.8% firmer, a day after data showed the country snapped out of a recession in the third quarter.
Russia’s rouble was steady as the market expected the finance ministry to disclose its plan to replenish reserves for the next month and hold auctions of treasury bonds.
In central Europe, Poland’s zloty was little changed against the euro ahead of a central bank rate decision, with analysts expecting the bank to leave borrowing costs unchanged.
“Since the last rate meeting, inflation both in Poland and in euro zone has softened noticeably,” Commerzbank analysts said in a note.
“This makes it very likely that whatever few hawkish remarks were beginning to surface within the monetary policy committee, will be snuffed out in today’s proceedings.”