EMERGING MARKETS-Stocks slide as rising COVID cases in China dent mood ahead of c.bank-heavy week

By Susan Mathew

Dec 12 (Reuters) –

Emerging market stocks slumped 1.2% on Monday as the rapid spread of COVID-19 infections in China knocked sentiment, with investors also waiting to see if the US Federal Reserve will temper its pace of hikes.

MSCI’s index of emerging market shares slipped, with Hong Kong’s property index sliding 7.5% after nearly doubling over the last month.

This follows two weeks of gains for the broader EM index when a broad easing in some COVID curbs in China raised hopes of a global rebound in economic activity, but concerns rose on Monday that the easing could see


and cause further disruptions.

These worries come at the start of a central bank decisions-heavy week, where apart from the Fed, the European Central Bank, as well as those in Mexico, Taiwan and Colombia were due to hold policy meetings.

Turkey’s BIST 100 index outperformed, extending a recent streak of gains, jumping 3.3% and hitting record highs with material stocks leading the charge.

Data on Monday showed Turkey’s current account deficit in October narrowed more than expected to $359 million. In September, the deficit had widened to $2.966 billion.

Currencies were subdued against a steady dollar.

“This week will determine whether 2023 starts with a focus on the inflation battle being won and the prospect of stimulative, reflationary policy coming through – a dollar negative,” said Chris Turner, global head of markets and regional head of research for UK & CEE at ING.

US consumer price data due for Tuesday is seen having eased further to 7.3% year-on-year in November, while investors are almost fully priced in for a 50 basis points hike from the Fed after four straight 75 bps increases.

Hungary’s forint erased early losses to rise 0.3% against the euro after five weeks of losses.

The European Union was haggling with Hungary on Friday over releasing billions of euros in aid in exchange for Budapest revoking its veto on extending a joint loan to Ukraine and acceding to a minimum global tax.

EU foreign ministers are to meet on Monday to try to agree on further sanctions on Russia and Iran and an additional 2 billion euros ($2.11 billion) for arms deliveries to Ukraine.

Russia’s rouble weakened against the greenback to last trade at 62.7 with eyes as on a central bank policy decision on Friday. For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance in 2022, see http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance in 2022, see https://tmsnrt.rs/2OusNdX

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(Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Nivedita Bhattacharjee)

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