January 20, 2020 / 9:19 AM / a month ago

EMERGING MARKETS-EM stocks, currencies flat ahead of key central bank meetings

* BoJ, ECB meetings scheduled later in the week

* Turkish, Russian stocks touch record highs

* S.African rand dips as ANC leaders’ hold meeting

By Shreyashi Sanyal

Jan 20 (Reuters) - Emerging market stocks and currencies were flat on Monday as investors braced for major central bank meetings later in the week, while Turkish and Russian equities scaled all-time highs.

The Bank of Japan will announce its rate decision on Tuesday, while the European Central Bank is gearing up for its first policy meeting of the year on Thursday.

“Major central banks are unlikely to take action for the foreseeable future, as they have all come close to the end of their possibilities when it comes to expansionary measures and see little scope for action on the restrictive side of things,” said Commerzbank FX strategist Ulrich Leuchtmann.

Investor sentiment has gradually improved since the United States and China agreed to a truce in their near two-year-long trade war in December and after the two sides signed an initial trade deal last week that will roll back some tariffs and boost Chinese purchases of U.S. products.

The Turkish stock index rose nearly 1% to a record high, while Russian stocks gained 0.8% to an all-time peak.

A basket of emerging market currencies was flat, pointing to a slow start to the week.

“From the point of view of many, the global economy might disappoint, but there are no country-specific special effects that could lead to jumps in the exchange rates,” said Leuchtmann.

China’s onshore yuan , however, led a pack of Asian currencies higher after a firm midpoint rate fix by the central bank and robust demand ahead of a week-long New Year holiday.

Turkey’s lira weakened against a firmer dollar. The Turkish central bank decided to send 90% of its 2019 profits to the government and other smaller shareholders, after necessary reserves are removed.

The Russian rouble firmed, pricing in higher oil prices and local tax payments with investors waiting to see which ministers will keep their jobs in a new government after the unexpected appointment of Mikhail Mishustin as Russia’s new prime minister last Wednesday.

South Africa’s rand fell while the governing African National Congress (ANC) party held an important meeting on the economy.

For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance in 2020, see tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance in 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 Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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