August 14, 2019 / 9:15 AM / 6 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Stocks rise on trade relief, growth worries curb optimism

* Yuan touches one-week high on trade relief

* Russia’s rouble, stocks slide as oil drops

* Indian rupee recovers from 5-month low

By Sruthi Shankar

Aug 14 (Reuters) - Asian equities and currencies led gains in emerging markets on Wednesday on relief over Washington’s move to delay tariffs on some Chinese goods, although weak data and political turmoil continued to weigh on risk sentiment.

The yuan jumped to its highest level in a week and mainland China stocks edged higher after U.S. President Donald Trump backed off his Sept. 1 deadline for 10% tariffs on certain Chinese imports and said both sides will speak again by phone within the next two weeks.

The news set off a wave of buying in global markets, with the MSCI index of developing world stocks jumping 0.5% as heavyweight indexes of South Korea, Taiwan and India gained between 0.6% and 1.3%.

“The delay... provides a much needed respite for EM spreads, and the monetary policy outlook remains strongly supportive for the asset class,” Trieu Pham, EM sovereign debt strategist at ING wrote in a note. “However, the lack of visibility means that we remain vulnerable to headline risk and rates volatility.”

The gains were mostly limited to Asian markets, as data pointing to a surprise drop in Chinese industrial output growth and slump in German exports underpinned fears the global economy was heading for recession.

Russia’s rouble fell 0.5% and its main stock index declined as prices of oil, the country’s main export, dropped on disappointing data from China and a rise in U.S. crude inventories.

The Turkish lira slid 0.5%, while South Africa’s rand shed 0.3% ahead of the release of June retail sales numbers. A Reuters poll of economists are predicting a 2.3% expansion in the economy’s largest sector.

The Indian rupee, however, edged higher after hitting a fresh five-month low on Tuesday when soft retail sales data for July boosted expectations of another interest rate cut in October.

India has been one of many emerging economies to cut rates this year, and by a wider margin than expected, as central banks turn to monetary policy easing to offset slowing growth in the wake of U.S.-China trade war.

Hong Kong-listed shares gave back early gains even as the country’s airport reopened after violent clashes between police and pro-democracy protesters.

Second-quarter growth numbers for east European economies pointed to a mixed picture, the Czech Republic expanding more than expected and Hungary’s economy slowing to an annual 4.9%, still exceeding analyst forecasts.

The crown and the forint held steady against the euro. Meanwhile, the Polish zloty fell 0.3% after data showed its economy slowed more than expected in the previous quarter.

For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance 2019, see tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance 2019, 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 Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Powell)

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