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EM-Shares, currencies slide as China pains sap risk appetite

While a dollar lifted by rising Treasury yields pressured most EM currencies, Russia’s rouble firmed 0.5% as oil prices rose.
Image: AdobeStock.

More evidence of slowing growth in China and rising US Treasury yields further dented fragile risk sentiment on Tuesday although a rally in property stocks kept heavywieght Chinese shares buoyed.

Profit growth at China’s industrial firms slowed for a sixth month data showed on Tuesday. Along with the likely default at Evergrande – laden with $305 billion in debt – and an unfolding power crisis, investors were left contemplating the repercussions of slowing demand from the world’s second largest economy.

“Concerns about near-term growth outlook in emerging markets refuse to go away,” said Natalia Gurushina, EM fixed income economist at VanEck.

“It is still unclear … (whether) China’s power crunch is easily “fixable” or reversible, but in the meantime it generates more concerns about the global supply chain.”

MSCI’s index of EM currencies dropped 0.2%, on course for its worst session in three weeks, while its stocks counterpart inched lower as heavy declines in the rest of Asia, South Africa and Turkey outweighed gains in China .

Liquidity injections by China’s central bank and its promises to protect consumers exposed to the housing market sent property stocks higher on Tuesday.

Shares of big technology names such as Alibaba, Tencent and Meituan, which have seen steep slides recently thanks to tightening regulations, also rallied.

While a dollar lifted by rising Treasury yields pressured most EM currencies, Russia’s rouble firmed 0.5% as oil prices rose.

Analysts also point to parliamentary elections that showed the ruling party retaining a majority, albeit reduced. “Policy continuity is broadly foreseen on all fronts. The situation is supportive of our forecast for the rouble exchange rate to modestly appreciate over the coming quarter,” Commerzbank analysts said.

Turkey’s lira was moving dangerously close to record lows, while the South African rand stayed at one-month lows. Both were down around 0.4%.

In Tunisia, the dinar extended losses to a fourth straight session and bonds rose. Political crisis in the country, following President Kais Saied’s seizure of power, threatens to deepen economic troubles.

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