Emerging stocks rise ahead of US-China talks’ results, FX firms

Emerging market stocks and currencies rose on Wednesday, as hopes of positive results from US-China trade talks boosted risk sentiment.

China’s foreign ministry said talks with the United States had concluded and the results would be released soon.

MSCI’s index of emerging market stocks hit a one-month high and were up 1.3%, while its index of emerging market currencies tacked on 0.2% to move closer to an over five-month peak hit on Monday.

Investors hope the world’s top two economies can strike a deal to ease their bruising trade war, which has cost both sides billions. US President Donald Trump tweeted on Tuesday that talks with China were going “very well” and benchmark U.S. stocks ended the day 1% higher.

“Judging from upbeat equities on Wall Street against a backdrop of Trump’s cheerleading tweet for US-China trade talks, it is patently clear that the mood music on US-China trade talks is soothing, if not outright sweet!,” wrote Vishnu Varathan, head of economics & strategy at Mizuho Bank, in a note on Wednesday.

Stocks in China , South Korea and Taiwan, countries heavily exposed to global trade, ended between 0.7% and 2% higher.

The Chinese yuan rose 0.4% in offshore trading to its highest level since December 4.

South Africa’s rand firmed 0.2%, while local stocks were 1.1% higher, with the gains led by a 2.6% rise in internet group Naspers.

Russia’s rouble slipped 0.2% as traders looked past higher prices of oil – a key Russian export – and priced in risks related to the resumption of state foreign currency purchases due next week.

Higher energy prices helped lift Russian stocks by 0.6% to a one-month high.

Turkey’s lira softened 0.3%, adding to Tuesday’s sharp drop when President Tayyip Erdogan rebuked US National Security Adviser John Bolton for demanding that his country not attack Kurdish fighters in Syria.

“Erdogan may not realise that playing with Trump (through Bolton) is like playing Russian Roulette … Trump could easily reverse & double down on US troops in Syria,” said Kay Van Petersen, a global macro strategist with Saxobank.

In emerging Europe, Poland’s central bank meeting was in focus as the zloty weakened slightly against the euro.

While investors do not expect the bank to change its record low 1.5 percent benchmark rate, they will be watching to see if rate setters make any comments about inflation falling deeper below their 1.5% to 3.5% target range, or about a dovish twist in the US Federal Reserve’s rhetoric and weak euro zone output figures.

Source: moneyweb.co.za