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EMERGING MARKETS-Polish bonds lead emerging markets wobble on ECB taper talk

| LONDON

LONDON Oct 5 Polish and other central European bond yields rose on Wednesday after reports the European Central Bank could ease off its bond purchase programme and many other emerging assets also weakened, with stocks falling 0.4 percent.

While an ECB spokesman said the bank had not discussed reducing the pace of its monthly bond buying, a Bloomberg report that the 80-billion a month programme would probably start winding down, has spooked markets to a degree.

Euro zone yields hit two-week highs and the impact was felt across central Europe which has attracted investors fleeing crushingly low yields in Germany and elsewhere.

Polish 10-year yields rose 4 basis points to hover just off recent three-month highs and yields rose 2-3 bps across the rest of the curve. Hungarian 10-year yields gained 3 bps while shorter tenors were up 1 bp.

"The fact they are talking of getting out of it tells us the ridiculous levels on Bund yields are not going to persist indefinitely. Consequently Poland looks very exposed," said Peter Kinsella, head of emerging markets research at Commerzbank.

"It gives an upside impetus to yields in central Europe," Kinsella said, adding that 8-9 percent yields in Turkey or South Africa offered better protection from ECB tapering.

The Polish zloty was flat against the euro before a central bank meeting that should leave rates unchanged at 1.5 percent. But markets will look for clues from the governor's speech about the pace of future rate rises especially in light of the ECB taper rumour.

The zloty's fate is tied closely to the euro with local bonds' reacting to ECB newsflow, ING analysts wrote, predicting more euro/zloty upside.

"Recall that back in the second quarter 2015 during the Bund sell-off, euro/zloty appreciated...from just below 4.00 to close to 4.20 while longer dated (government bonds) sold off," they said.

The forint however rose 0.2 percent benefiting from data showing retail sales rising an annual 4.3 percent in August, accelerating from July and indicating the economic recovery remains on track.

While Asian emerging currencies earlier fell against the dollar, Russia's rouble firmed half a percent as oil prices held near $50 a barrel and South Africa's rand rose 0.6 percent.

Turkey's lira, pressured by domestic politics, gained only 0.11 percent however.

MSCI's benchmark emerging equity index retreated 0.3 percent after two days of gains.

In bond news, Argentina opened books on a dual-tranche euro-denominated bond, with the 10-year issue marketed around 5.625 percent. The deal continues this week's sovereign issuance gush after sukuks from Bahrain and Pakistan .

For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance 2016, see link.reuters.com/jus35t

For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance 2016, see link.reuters.com/weh36s

For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging Europe performance 2016, see link.reuters.com/jun28s

For GRAPHIC on MSCI frontier index performance 2016, see link.reuters.com/zyh97s

For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see

For TURKISH market report, see

For RUSSIAN market report, see ) Emerging Markets Prices from Reuters Equities Latest Net Chg % Chg % Chg

on year

Morgan Stanley Emrg Mkt Indx 912.83 -2.78 -0.30 +14.95

Czech Rep 877.34 +2.21 +0.25 -8.26

Poland 1753.43 -0.61 -0.03 -5.69

Hungary 28492.39 -78.60 -0.28 +19.11

Romania 6968.22 -13.76 -0.20 -0.52

Greece 578.36 -0.82 -0.14 -8.39

Russia 994.06 -6.78 -0.68 +31.31

South Africa 45300.49 -172.54 -0.38 -1.08

Turkey 77048.70 -9.07 -0.01 +7.42

China 3005.51 +7.03 +0.23 -15.08

India 28254.65 -79.90 -0.28 +8.18

Currencies Latest Prev Local Local

close currency currency

% change % change

in 2016

Czech Rep 27.00 27.00 +0.00 -0.01

Poland 4.30 4.30 +0.06 -0.95

Hungary 305.93 306.95 +0.33 +2.85

Romania 4.46 4.46 -0.14 +1.28

Serbia 123.01 122.95 -0.05 -1.25

Russia 62.44 62.78 +0.54 +16.83

Kazakhstan 332.71 334.10 +0.42 +2.34

Ukraine 25.87 25.80 -0.27 -7.41

South Africa 13.75 13.82 +0.53 +12.47

Kenya 101.20 101.10 -0.10 +0.99

Israel 3.77 3.77 +0.10 +3.09

Turkey 3.06 3.06 -0.04 -4.61

China 6.67 6.67 -0.00 -2.65

India 66.53 66.60 +0.10 -0.50

Brazil 3.26 3.26 -0.02 +21.56

Mexico 19.34 19.32 -0.07 -11.20

Debt Index Strip Spd Chg %Rtn Index

Sov'gn Debt EMBIG 351 1 .10 7 71.96 1

All data taken from Reuters at 09:04 GMT. Currency percent change calculated from the daily U.S. close at 2130 GMT.

(additional reporting by Sandor Peto; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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