* Emerging tech index falls almost 3 percent
* Turkish lira helped by rate rise prospects
* South African rand slips but up this week
By Sujata Rao
LONDON, Nov 30 (Reuters) - A selloff on U.S. tech shares fed into emerging markets on Thursday, taking MSCI’s emerging tech index almost 3 percent lower on the day, while the Turkish lira shrugged off a firmer dollar on expectations of an interest rate increase.
MSCI’s broader emerging stocks index dropped more than 1 percent after Wednesday’s Wall Street selloff as Asian tech bellwethers such as Samsung and Tencent fell 2-3 percent. The tech index was on track for the biggest weekly loss in almost two years.
Chinese shares also slid 1 percent, extending recent losses for the biggest weekly fall in almost a year.
Emerging currencies were mostly pressured by a firmer dollar, with the Korean won for instance down almost half a percent. The won also felt pain from a dovish central bank message following its first interest rate rise in six years.
The Turkish lira was the outlier, rising around half a percent as a presidential advisor stressed the central bank would raise interest rates and use other policy instruments if inflation expectations were impacted.
The gains came despite a 73 percent annual widening in the trade deficit and fears of U.S. fines, as markets priced rate rises of at least 100 basis points at the central bank’s Dec 14 meeting or earlier.
TD Securities strategist Christian Maggio said the proxy interest rate, the weighted average cost of funding, would have to rise sharply from 12.25 percent to prevent the lira from breaching the key 4 per dollar level.
“Markets are expecting the central bank to react and to do it soon,” Maggio said. “Dec 14 will be the latest date, if they do nothing by then the lira will sell off as markets are very aggressively positioned for tightening.”
“A positive surprise on that front will have immediate repercussions for the currency.”
The other emerging markets weak link, the South African rand, fell half a percent but is set for weekly gains after only one ratings downgrade materialised last Friday and Moody’s held the country’s local debt rating at investment grade.
In eastern Europe, rising German yields could cause some unease, with Hungary’s forint down a quarter percent to the euro and zloty off 5-1/2-month highs.
Polish five-year yields are around three-week highs ahead of November inflation data due at 1300 GMT and Hungarian yields have pulled off record lows.
“As rates in Germany and rest of the euro zone start to move higher and inflation in central Euroepan economies goes up, the viability of (low interest rates) will become less and less,” Maggio said.
“Our expectation is that next year both will have to start hiking rates even if rhetoric is still very dovish.”
For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see
For TURKISH market report, see
For RUSSIAN market report, see) (Reporting by Sujata Rao; Editing by Keith Weir)