June 12, 2020 / 8:52 AM / 2 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Shares fall after Wall Street's tumble on virus resurgence fears

* MSCI EM stocks index down 0.8%

* Most EM currencies firm against weaker dollar

* S. African rand recovers from worst day since 2016

* Turkish industrial production hammered in April, but lira up

By Susan Mathew

June 12 (Reuters) - Emerging market shares tracked a global downturn in sentiment on Friday over growing fears of a resurgence of coronavirus infections, exacerbated by an unabating rise in cases in India and Latin America.

Wall Street tumbled overnight after abrupt economic lockdowns were put in place to contain the pandemic as cases topped 2 million in the United States.

As the global economy reels from impacts of earlier lockdowns, further restrictions to business activity bring back fears of a deep and prolonged recession.

MSCI’s index of emerging markets shares fell 0.8%, extending losses after the U.S. Federal Reserve’s grim assessment of economic recovery ended a strong risk rally with a heavy sell-off on Thursday.

The index is set to snap a three-week winning run, down about 1.6% so far this week.

Asia shares slid although Chinese blue-chips closed higher. Polish stocks underperformed, down more than 3%, as they caught up with the rout after a day’s holiday.

Shares in South Africa extended losses to day five, while those in Turkey fell 0.4%.

“Global investors are expected to continue reacting to significant developments surrounding the coronavirus outbreak,” said Han Tan, market analyst at FXTM.

“More overt signs of a resurgence in COVID-19 cases could see the further unwinding of gains in riskier assets, while restoring safe havens to recent highs.”

Within the emerging market space, Russia and India are in third and fourth place worldwide in the number of infected cases, while Latin America is the latest epicentre. With economic fundamentals weak before the pandemic, India and Brazil shares have underperformed peers this year.

Most currencies of the developing world, however, firmed as the dollar steadied following a safe-haven surge.

South Africa’s rand recovered from a near 4% decline - its worst session since 2016, up 0.8%. Turkey’s lira rose 0.2% despite data showing industrial output slumped a more than expected and current account deficit widened to more than $5 billion in April.

With the local exchange closed for a holiday, Russia’s rouble rose 0.8% in thin trade in the interbank market even as oil prices fell.

The Polish zloty was set for its biggest percentage gain in two weeks against a stronger euro.

For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance 2020, see tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance 2020, see tmsnrt.rs/2OusNdX

For TOP NEWS across emerging markets

For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see

For TURKISH market report, see

For RUSSIAN market report, see (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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