November 19, 2019 / 7:42 AM / 18 days ago

RPT-EMERGING MARKETS-Stocks, currencies edge up on hopes of U.S.-China trade pact

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* Chinese stocks gain as central bank trims repo rate

* Turkish lira firms for second straight session

* South African rand eases ahead of central bank meeting

* Russian internet company Yandex jumps 5%

By Sagarika Jaisinghani and Shreyashi Sanyal

Nov 18 (Reuters) - Emerging market shares gained on Monday as China signalled it was prepared to act further to prop up a slowing economy, while hopes of a Sino-U.S. trade pact kept trading in most developing world currencies in a narrow range.

An index of emerging market stocks gained 0.5%, led by shares in mainland China as the country’s central bank unexpectedly trimmed a closely watched lending rate for the first time in more than four years.

Chinese state media said over the weekend that Washington and Beijing had “constructive” trade talks on a high-level phone call, adding to optimism from Friday that the two sides were making progress to end a dispute that has hit global manufacturing.

“There has been a general shift in expectations that there will be some sort of a ‘phase one’ trade deal and that is what is buoying markets now,” said Jason Tuvey, senior emerging markets economist at Capital Economics in London.

Jitters about the trade dispute, slowing economic growth and prolonged anti-government protests in Hong Kong have rattled emerging markets over the past few weeks, with a basket of developing world currencies on track to end the month flat after gaining for two months in a row.

Investors are now looking to major central banks for further clues on monetary policy. Minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s October meeting are due on Wednesday, while Christine Lagarde delivers her first speech as the European Central Bank’s president on Friday.

South Africa’s rand eased for the first session in four ahead of a central bank meeting later in the week, where it is expected to keep interest rates unchanged at 6.5%.

Russia’s rouble and currencies in central and eastern European economies including Hungary, Poland and Romania were marginally lower.

But the Turkish lira firmed, also supported by comments from President Tayyip Erdogan that interest rates will continue to fall.

Russia’s stock index rose 0.2%, led by a 5% gain for Yandex as the internet company said its share repurchase programme was approved and that it planned to adjust its corporate governance structure in a bid to adjust to Russia’s “evolving regulatory environment”.

For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance 2019, see tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance 2019, see tmsnrt.rs/2OusNdX

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For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see

For TURKISH market report, see

For RUSSIAN market report, see (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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