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EMERGING MARKETS-Bullish dollar, Fed comments weigh on EM stocks, currencies

By Karin Strohecker
    LONDON, Oct 17 Emerging stocks and currencies
came under pressure on Monday, weighed down by the dollar
romping to its strongest level in nearly seven months and
long-dated U.S. bond yields climbing higher following comments
by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. 
    MSCI's emerging market benchmark weakened 0.5
percent, with bourses across Asia  chalking up
solid losses while stocks in South Africa, Turkey
 and Russia fell by around 0.5 percent.
    Currencies weakened against the dollar and bond
yields clambered higher in many emerging economies after  
Yellen said on Friday the Fed may need to run a "high-pressure"
economy to reverse damage from the 2008-2009 global financial
crisis that depressed output. 
    Her remarks raised speculation that Yellen may be willing to
let inflation run above the bank's 2.0 percent target and  
prefer to keep an easy monetary policy stance for a long time.
    "She said she would allow the U.S. economy to run a bit
further than normal in terms of monetary policy, which would be
positive for EM, but they are also signalling they want to try
to steepen the yield curve, which could be negative for EM bond
markets - so it's a mixed signal for emerging markets," said
Jakob Christensen, head of EM research at Danske Bank.
    Adding to the pressure was U.S. data out on Friday, showing
a rebound in retail sales in September, pointing to solid demand
that reinforces expectations of a Fed interest rate hike in
December. 
    Currencies bore much of the pain. Turkey's lira 
weakened by 0.4 percent in its seventh day in the red, yet
stayed shy of the record low it had hit last week.
    Russia's rouble matched that fall, shrugging off a
decision by ratings agency Fitch on Friday to raise its outlook
on Russia's sovereign debt to "stable" from "negative".
  
    South Africa's rand also weakened for the third day,
but losses were less pronounced after the deputy president was
joined by business leaders showing support for Finance Minister
Pravin Gordhan, who faces fraud charges. 
    The Chinese yuan slumped to its weakest since
September 2010 on a weak central bank guidance rate,
but selling was tempered by caution over possible intervention
by authorities to halt further depreciation. 
    The picture was similar across central and eastern Europe.
    Hungary's forint weakened 0.2 percent against the
euro while Poland's zloty almost matched that fall
after hitting its weakest level in the month earlier in the day.
    Investors are also awaiting a raft of global economic data
this week, including U.S. industrial production on Monday, U.S.
consumer prices on Tuesday and Chinese third-quarter gross
domestic product on Wednesday.
    
     Emerging Markets Prices from Reuters            
 Equities                  Latest    Net Chg  % Chg  % Chg      
     
                                                     on year    
       
 Morgan Stanley               
 Emrg Mkt Indx    892.48    -4.55   -0.51  +12.38     
       
 Czech Rep            902.93    +3.77   +0.42   -5.58     
       
 Poland           1724.93    +5.29   +0.31   -7.22     
       
 Hungary           28467.01   +75.00   +0.26  +19.01     
       
 Romania           6869.97   -27.40   -0.40   -1.92     
       
 Greece              586.78    -2.51   -0.43   -7.06     
       
 Russia             978.05    -4.99   -0.51  +29.19     
       
 South Africa    44545.04  -113.57   -0.25   -2.73     
       
 Turkey          77106.46  -447.75   -0.58   +7.50     
       
 China             3041.24   -22.56   -0.74  -14.07     
       
 India           27553.87  -119.73   -0.43   +5.50     
       
            
 Currencies              Latest    Prev    Local    Local       
      
                                   close   currency currency    
       
                                           % change % change    
       
                                                    in 2016     
      
 Czech Rep      27.01     27.01   -0.00    -0.05      
     
 Poland          4.31      4.31   -0.10    -1.29      
     
 Hungary       306.46    305.75   -0.23    +2.67      
     
 Romania         4.50      4.51   +0.04    +0.32      
     
 Serbia        123.02    123.02   +0.00    -1.26      
     
 Russia            63.11     62.85   -0.41   +15.59      
     
 Kazakhstan       332.15    330.50   -0.50    +2.51      
     
 Ukraine           25.77     25.77   +0.00    -7.05      
     
 South Africa      14.32     14.31   -0.06    +7.97      
     
 Kenya            101.30    101.30   +0.00    +0.89      
     
 Israel             3.82      3.82   -0.19    +1.69      
     
 Turkey             3.10      3.09   -0.44    -5.99      
     
 China              6.74      6.73   -0.15    -3.64      
     
 India             66.80     66.71   -0.14    -0.90      
     
 Brazil             3.20      3.20   +0.07   +23.68      
     
 Mexico            19.02     19.01   -0.09    -9.73      
     
            
 Debt                 Index   Strip Spd  Chg   %Rtn   Index     
       
 Sov'gn Debt  EMBIG   356        -1    .05  7 64.74 1   
        
            
 All data taken from Reuters at 09:15 GMT. Currency percent
change calculated from the daily U.S. close at 2130 GMT.        
   
    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 )

 (Additional reporting by Claire Milhench; Editing by Robin
Pomeroy)

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