Stocks claw higher, EM currencies sag
The rand weakened 0,3 percent following weak consumer confidence data.
LONDON -Emerging market stocks snapped a six-day losing streak on Friday though it made little impact on a fourth straight week of falls as the soaring dollar also kept the pressure on developing economy currencies.
MSCI's emerging equities index was up 0.4 percent as the week's sell-off in global stocks abated ahead of US jobs data. But that did little to dent its 3 percent slide since Monday and 10 percent plunge since early September.
"Everything we are seeing now in emerging markets is very much driven by global monetary policy," said Danske Bank analyst Lars Christensen. "Overall it's hard to see this stopping before we see a stabilisation and a stop to this dollar strengthening,"
Russia's remained in the spotlight as stocks headed for another weekly fall and the rouble weakened to 44.48 against a dollar-euro basket, close to the 44.40 level where the central bank automatically starts unlimited interventions.
The rouble has been under heavy selling pressure for months due to the Ukraine crisis and strong demand for dollars from Russian firms shut out of international capital markets, while falling oil prices are the latest strain.
The currency first breached the 44.40 level on 1 October, prompting the central bank's first market interventions since May.
Other dollar-sensitive emerging market currencies also turned lower again on Friday having rallied in the previous session when the greenback had paused for breath.
South Africa's rand weakened 0.3 percent following weak consumer confidence data, while Turkey's lira also slipped around 0.2 percent as consumer prices data showed slower than expected inflation.
In Asia, beaten-down Hong Kong stocks recovered from early falls to close 0.6 percent higher. Leading the way were Chinese real estate firms after Beijing announced measures to support its sagging housing market.
Asian markets were otherwise underwhelmed by Chinese data after a survey showed growth in its services sector eased last month to its slowest rate in eight months.
In a sign that China's cooling property market remained a key drag on the economy, the PMI showed the real estate sector shrank in September, alongside other industries such as logistics and aviation.
Tensions in Hong Kong were soothed a little though by the territory's leadership offering talks with pro-democracy protesters who have taken to the streets demanding a free voting system to appoint a new leader in 2017.
HUNGARY FOR YIELD
In the currency markets, Brazil's real steadied near a six-year low against the dollar as incumbant president Dilma Rousseff, who has a poor image with investors, extended a poll lead ahead of national elections on Sunday.
In eastern Europe, Hungary's forint led a firming of the region's currencies against the euro after the European Central Bank on Thursday detailed its plans for buying secured debt assets in the next couple of months.
The forint was also lifted by comments from Economy Minister Mihaly Varga, who said the country needed "a favourable" exchange rate to continue to reduce its debt this year.
Hungary, which has the highest debt to GDP ratio in the region at around 80 percent, would risk cuts in funding from the European Union if its debt rises.
Hungarian stocks along with those in Romania were among a tiny selection of global markets looking like dodging a weekly fall, while Polish and Czech shares were also heading for smaller drops than most.