Emerging market stocks inched up to three-month highs on Tuesday, buoyed by cautious optimism about global trade developments, as most currencies moved in narrow ranges before an expected US interest rate cut.
Chances of at least an initial US-China trade deal next month were kept alive after President Donald Trump said a deal looked to be ahead of schedule, and Washington also said it was studying whether to extend tariff suspensions due to expire in December.
Analysts remain skeptical.
“It isn’t yet clear that an interim deal that kicks trade worries down the road would be sufficient to allay concerns about the geopolitical, economic, earnings, and policy backdrop,” said Mark Haefele, Chief Investment Officer, UBS Global Wealth Management.
Futures markets are meanwhile fully priced for a quarter-point cut in US interest rates on Wednesday, amid growing expectations that the Federal Reserve may hold fire on further easing in December.
Most currencies barely moved against a steady dollar, though a marginal rise in the emerging index took it to a three-month high and put it on course to log its ninth straight day of gains.
South Africa’s rand climbed ahead of a budget speech on Wednesday by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni that is expected to signal a wider budget deficit, higher debt and lower growth projections.
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Turkey’s lira was flat as the United Nations special envoy for Syria called for a ceasefire in northeastern Syria to be extended. The lira has lost 1.6% this month as Turkey, Russia and Iran have attempted a series of truces, but fighting has rumbled on.
Among stocks, mainland China shares were dragged lower by techs, while Hong Kong shares slipped after forecasts of a possible full-year contraction of the city’s economy. Istanbul and Johannesburg shares lost around 0.4% each.
But a rise of above 1% in India stocks , and smaller gains in Taiwan, Russia and Hungary more than offset those losses.
In Argentina, the peso jumped overnight as the central bank tightened capital restrictions following Sunday’s presidential election win by centre-left Alberto Fernandez. He has promised to “turn the page” on IMF-backed policies blamed by many for leading to austerity.
Lebanon’s sovereign dollar-bonds fell further following a central bank warning that the country has just days to find a solution to its economic crisis as banks remain shut for a ninth day.
The 2021 issue dropped 1 cent to a record low of 75.29 cents in the dollar, according to Tradeweb data, with yields at 30.1%.