January 28, 2019 / 9:54 AM / 6 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Emerging-market FX steady, stocks on track to snap winning run

* China’s yuan hits over six-month intra-day peak against dollar

* Russian rouble steady, stocks hit record high before retreating

* U.S.-China trade meet, U.S. Federal Reserve in focus this week

By Aaron Saldanha

Jan 28 (Reuters) - Most emerging-market currencies held their ground against the dollar, but developing-world stocks slipped after climbing to their highest in nearly four months in early trade.

Gains for the currencies were capped by demand for dollars before a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting later this week and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He’s visit o the United States on Jan. 30-31 for trade talks.

The trade talks might have a big impact on sentiment towards emerging markets, said Gareth Leather, a senior economist with Capital Economics, but it would be hard to predict as they could depend “on how (U.S. President Donald) Trump is feeling.”

MSCI’s index of developing-world currencies reached a seven-month peak and was 0.2 percent higher.

The MSCI index of emerging-market stocks fell 0.2 percent, as stocks in China slipped. The MSCI index is on course to snap a three-session winning run.

The onshore Chinese yuan rose to its strongest level against the dollar in more than six months at one point, aided by support from major state-run Chinese banks before the trade talks.

Russia’s rouble gained and benchmark stocks rose to a record high in early trade after the United States lifted sanctions on companies linked to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.

“The positive news relating to sanctions could see the return of a rate of 65.69-66.00 rouble to the dollar,” analysts at Promsvyazbank said in a note, adding that the U.S. move “does not mean a cardinal change in the sanctions approach.”

Sliding prices of oil, a key Russian export, sent the country’s energy stocks down later in the session and consigned the benchmark to a half-percent fall.

Moscow-listed shares in Rusal, the world’s top aluminium producer outside China, rose as much as 10 percent before giving away much of that gain.

South Africa’s rand was on course to snap three days of gains, falling 0.1 percent. The rand has struggled to hold below the 13.60 technical resistance mark and traders expect it to remain in a narrow range, with a topside target for the dollar-rand pair of 13.70.

South African stocks traded flat, as losses among financials and consumer staples negated gains made by some materials stocks.

In emerging Europe, Hungary’s forint was little changed against the euro a day before a central bank rate decision.

The bank is expected to stand pat on rates, but it may signal a tightening in the liquidity it provides through its foreign exchange swaps, analysts in a Reuters survey said.

For TOP NEWS across emerging markets

For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see

For TURKISH market report, see

For RUSSIAN market report, see (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru)

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