EMERGING MARKETS-Stocks, FX slip as China power crunch deepens slowdown fears
More evidence of slowing growth in China amid a power shortage and rising U.S. Treasury yields further dented fragile risk sentiment on Tuesday, although a rally in technology and property stocks kept heavyweight Chinese shares buoyed. Profit growth at China's industrial firms slowed for a sixth month, data showed on Tuesday as plants fought off high commodity prices, COVID-19 outbreaks and part shortages.
More evidence of slowing growth in China amid a power shortage and rising U.S. Treasury yields further dented fragile risk sentiment on Tuesday, although a rally in technology and property stocks kept heavyweight Chinese shares buoyed.
Profit growth at China's industrial firms slowed for the sixth month, data showed on Tuesday as plants fought off high commodity prices, COVID-19 outbreaks, and part shortages. An unfolding power crisis in the world's second-largest economy has piled onto investor worries over the fate of ailing property developer Evergrande.
MSCI's index of EM currencies headed for its worst session in three weeks, while stocks fell 0.2% as heavy declines in the rest of Asia, South Africa and Turkey outweighed gains in China. "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," said Natalia Gurushina, EM fixed income economist at VanEck.
Ratings agency S&P on Monday lowered the annual 2021 GDP growth forecast for the Asia Pacific region to 6.7% from 7.1%. For broader EM, excluding India and China, S&P upgraded the forecast to 4.8% from a prior 4.6%. But liquidity injections by China's central bank and its promises to protect consumers exposed to the housing market sent domestic property stocks higher on Tuesday.
Shares of big tech names such as Alibaba, Tencent, and Meituan, which have seen steep slides recently thanks to tightening regulations, also rallied. BlackRock is dipping a toe into Chinese equities on stimulus hopes, the asset manager said in a client note, adding it is also modestly overweight on EM debt. nL8N2QU1PT]
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 retained 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, down about 0.6%. In Tunisia, the dinar extended losses to a fourth straight session as the political crisis in the country, following President Kais Saied's seizure of power, threatened to deepen economic troubles.
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