May 3, 2019 / 8:38 AM / 22 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS- Emerging market currencies slip, Turkey rating eyed

* U.S. non-farm payroll due

* Mainland China stock indices shut

* South African elections eyed next week

By Agamoni Ghosh

May 3 (Reuters) - Emerging market currencies slipped on Friday as investors assessed implications of the U.S central bank’s neutral message, while stocks were headed for their second weekly drop in a row amid thin holiday trade in Asia.

MSCI’s index for emerging market currencies slipped for a second straight session as the U.S. dollar stayed broadly firm with the focus on the Turkish lira which edged closer to near seven-month lows.

Turkey’s inflation came in slightly lower than expected for March although annual inflation eased from a 15-year peak of above 25 percent in October.

“The data shows impact of very depressed domestic demand conditions, with little pricing pressure from cooperates,” said Timothy Ash at Blue Bay Asset Management

“Some will also focus on the continued maintenance of price controls and question how accurate or realistic these inflation numbers are now,” said Timothy Ash at BlueBay Asset Management.

Later in the day all eyes will be on a Fitch rating for the recession-hit country, with markets pricing in a downgrade.

South Africa’s rand was on track to end lower for a third straight week with investors looking forward to a national election next Wednesday.

A clean sweep for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ruling African National Congress looks certain but the size of his majority will be pivotal in dictating the future of his presidency.

Falling oil prices benefit crude importer India’s rupee while export major Russia’s rouble tread water.

Stock indices across emerging markets were more mixed with light trading in Asia as Mainland Chinese markets remained shut for a holiday. Hong Kong stocks edged higher, but South Korea’s Kospi index shed over half a percent.

In emerging Europe, there is some expectation for an upgrade from Moody’s for Hungary’s credit rating, but the forint barely moved against the euro with the country being within investment grade.

Investors also await U.S. employment figures due later in the day, which is forecast to show 185,000 net new jobs were added in April and the unemployment rate steady at 3.8 percent.

A solid reading would bolster the notion that world’s biggest economy is on track for its longest expansion ever, benefiting the greenback.

For TOP NEWS across emerging markets

For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see

For TURKISH market report, see

For RUSSIAN market report, see (Reporting by Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru; Additional reporting Marc Jones; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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