July 26, 2018 / 9:41 AM / 19 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-China stocks fall, bucking trend as focus turns to Sino-US trade

* Chinese stocks, yuan dip as trade worries centre on China

* Eased US-EU tensions lifts stocks elsewhere

* Lira resumes fall after Wednesday’s recovery

By Emma Rumney

LONDON, July 25 (Reuters) - Emerging stocks jumped to a one-month high on Thursday after an apparent easing of trade tensions between the United States and Europe, though Chinese markets fell on fears that U.S. trade policy would be concentrated on the Asian powerhouse.

China’s blue-chip index and its SSE composite index suffered their biggest daily fall in two weeks and were down 1.15 percent and 0.71 percent respectively, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index had dipped 0.61 percent.

As an agreement between President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker eased concerns of tensions between the two powers, the dispute between China and the U.S. escalated further.

“There seems to be a US-EU agreement whereas Trump has focused very much on China,” said senior EM economist at Capital Economics William Jackson. “Other emerging stocks are taking their cue from these more positive developments... but not China.”

China’s yuan weakened 0.3 percent against the dollar even after the country’s central bank lifted its official yuan mid-point by the most in three weeks. Analysts said the yuan was likely to face depreciation pressure in the medium term.

Trump accused China of treating American farmers in a “vicious” way and using them as leverage to gain concessions on trade, while a deadline for Chinese regulators to approve Qualcomm’s $44 billion bid for NXP Semiconductors passed without word.

However, MSCI’s benchmark emerging market equities index was up 0.78 percent, led by a 0.8 percent rise in South Korean stocks.

LIRA TAKES HIT

Elsewhere, the Turkish lira resumed its slide.

It fell 1.2 percent against the dollar and almost one percent against the euro, undoing some of the previous day’s gains, when the currency largely recovered from a sharp 3 percent fall against the dollar made after the central bank kept interest rates on hold on Tuesday

Capital Economics’ Jackson said the move was likely due to a “more sober assessment” of the direction of policymaking, with the decision widely seen as an indication of President Erdogan’s ongoing influence.

“This was the first policymaking test since Erdogan strengthened his powers over fiscal and monetary policy... The fact they didn’t hike suggests that some of the pressure from the president influenced the decision,” he added.

The rand fell 0.6 percent and the rouble slipped 0.3 percent as the dollar index clawed back some of its earlier fall that had seen it brush a two week low. .

Pakistan’s 5-year credit default swaps meanwhile fell 9 basis points from Wednesday’s close to 445 basis points, according to IHS Markit data, and its sovereign dollar bonds rose across the curve as the country awaited results from Wednesday’s election.

For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance 2018, see tmsnrt.rs/2e7eoml For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance 2018, see tmsnrt.rs/2dZbdP5

For TOP NEWS across emerging markets

For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see

For TURKISH market report, see

For RUSSIAN market report, see) (Additional reporting by Claire Milhench; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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