* China Q3 GDP growth weaker-than-expected
* Regulators pledge support, Chinese stocks rebound
* Lira set to post biggest weekly gains since mid-Aug
By Sruthi Shankar and Aaron Saldanha
Oct 19 (Reuters) - A surge in Chinese stocks on official moves to calm sentiment propped up emerging markets at the end of a rocky week on Friday, with Turkey’s lira also set to post solid weekly gains ahead of next week’s central bank meeting.
Worries about Chinese growth, allied to rising U.S. interest rates, have driven developing stock markets into bear territory and the MSCI index of emerging stocks was on track for its fourth consecutive week of losses, down about 16 percent this year.
China’s stock markets , however, rebounded from near four-year lows on Friday after regulators pledged to enact measures to help ease corporate financing problems and encourage commercial banks to lend to private firms.
“It has been a turbulent trading week for stock markets as trade worries, global growth fears, Italian budget concerns and geopolitical tensions led to a deterioration in risk sentiment,” said Lukman Otunuga, an analyst at futures brokerage FXTM based in London.
“With geopolitical risks likely to promote risk aversion, investors should fasten their seat belts.”
Markets earlier took fright from data that showed China’s economy grew at a slower than expected pace of 6.5 percent in the third quarter, marking the weakest rate since the global financial crisis.
The yuan, however, held steady at 6.3973.
Ken Cheung, senior Asian FX strategist at Mizuho Bank in Hong Kong, said the currency would continue to face depreciation pressure due to the divergence in monetary policy between the United States and China.
“The market will slowly drag the yuan lower to 7 per dollar to test the central bank’s bottom line,” he said. “The PBOC is likely to allow the yuan to depreciate in an orderly manner as long as expectations are stable.”
Turkey’s lira, among the worst hit in this year’s sell-off of a series of oil-exposed emerging currencies, was on track to post its biggest weekly gain since hitting a record low in mid-August, helped by signs of warming ties between Washington and Ankara.
The Turkish central bank meets next week for the first time since it raised interest rates by a whopping 625 basis points last month. The lira was up 4.6 percent for the week in early European trading.
South Africa’s rand was set to finish the week about 0.8 percent firmer, strengthening for a fifth week in six.
The country’s new finance minister is due to present the medium-term budget next week, a point of focus for the global investor community considering Africa’s most industrialised economy unexpectedly entered a recession in the second quarter.
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