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EMERGING MARKETS-Retreating dollar gives emerging markets a breather

By Karin Strohecker
    LONDON, Nov 25 Emerging markets looked to end
the week on a cautiously positive note on Friday with stocks
poised to snap a four-week losing streak while a number of
currencies pulled away from record lows thanks to the dollar
taking a break from its relentless rally. 
    Emerging assets have suffered since Republican Donald
Trump's unexpected election victory led to a major repricing of
assets, with investors pushing the dollar to a 13-1/2 year high
and sending U.S. Treasury yields soaring in anticipation that
increased infrastructure spending would push up inflation.
    India's rupee, which had hit a record low on
Thursday, strengthened 0.5 percent against the dollar 
after the Indian central bank intervened heavily in morning
trade when the currency looked set to weaken again. 
    Turkey's lira strengthened 0.2 percent on the day,
but only after hitting yet another record low in early trading. 
    Turkey had raised interest rates for the first time in
nearly three years on Thursday, hiking its benchmark rate by a
more-than-expected 50 basis points as concerns about the
tumbling currency outweighed President Tayyip Erdogan's calls
for cheap credit. 
    However, both currencies were on track for weekly losses,
the lira for the fifth week in succession. 
    "The rise in U.S. yields as a result of (Trump's)
expansionary fiscal agenda will be long-lasting and present a
headwind for emerging market assets," Andreas Johnson, economist
at SEB wrote in a note to clients. 
    "In response, emerging market central banks will soon follow
the U.S. Fed and hike rates - (Mexico's) Banxico and the central
bank of Turkey already have - causing yield spreads to narrow
and the rout to stall."
    In South Africa, the rand weakened 0.2 percent with
investors showing nerves ahead of ratings agencies' latest
assessments, which could see the country downgraded to junk next
week and push up its borrowing costs. 
    Moody's will review its Baa2 rating, which is two notches
above sub-investment grade, later on Friday. S&P and Fitch,
which rate South Africa just one rung from junk, are expected to
give their verdicts next week, on Friday. 
    "I am hesitant to say that a downgrade would trigger a major
immediate sell-off - but I think it is not going to help
sentiment in the medium term, it won't help foreign direct
investment flows," said Nazmeera Moola, co-head of fixed income
at Investec Asset Management.
    Meanwhile, emerging stocks looked on track to snap a
four-week losing streak. MSCI's emerging markets benchmark
 gained 0.4 percent on the day, lifted by solid gains
in Asia, and was up 1.3 percent on the week. 
    
    Emerging Markets Prices from Reuters            
 Equities                  Latest    Net Chg  % Chg  % Chg      
     
                                                     on year    
       
 Morgan Stanley               
 Emrg Mkt Indx    855.56    +3.54   +0.42   +7.73     
       
 Czech Rep            884.16    -2.15   -0.24   -7.55     
       
 Poland           1798.54    -8.73   -0.48   -3.26     
       
 Hungary           30095.44   -63.14   -0.21  +25.81     
       
 Romania           6834.93    -1.22   -0.02   -2.42     
       
 Greece              621.54    -2.09   -0.34   -1.55     
       
 Russia            1023.09    -5.77   -0.56  +35.14     
       
 South Africa    43960.79  -121.41   -0.28   -4.01     
       
 Turkey          74220.94   +27.87   +0.04   +3.48     
       
 China             3261.49   +19.76   +0.61   -7.85     
       
 India           26316.34  +456.17   +1.76   +0.76     
       
            
 Currencies              Latest    Prev    Local    Local       
      
                                   close   currency currency    
       
                                           % change % change    
       
                                                    in 2016     
      
 Czech Rep      27.03     27.01   -0.09    -0.12      
     
 Poland          4.41      4.42   +0.15    -3.51      
     
 Hungary       309.61    310.20   +0.19    +1.62      
     
 Romania         4.51      4.51   -0.06    +0.19      
     
 Serbia        123.08    123.39   +0.25    -1.31      
     
 Russia            64.51     64.44   -0.11   +13.08      
     
 Kazakhstan       338.80    335.97   -0.84    +0.50      
     
 Ukraine           25.67     25.55   -0.47    -6.69      
     
 South Africa      14.17     14.15   -0.16    +9.11      
     
 Kenya            101.80    101.80   +0.00    +0.39      
     
 Israel             3.87      3.87   -0.13    +0.37      
     
 Turkey             3.44      3.44   +0.10   -15.21      
     
 China              6.92      6.92   -0.01    -6.14      
     
 India             68.42     68.75   +0.49    -3.24      
     
 Brazil             3.39      3.39   -0.06   +16.71      
     
 Mexico            20.68     20.73   +0.23   -16.98      
     
            
 Debt                 Index   Strip Spd  Chg   %Rtn   Index     
       
 Sov'gn Debt  EMBIG   382        -2    .00  7 28.13 1   
        
            
 All data taken from Reuters at 10:25 GMT.            
 Currency percent change calculated from the daily U.S.         
  
 close at 2130 GMT.
      
For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance 2016, see tmsnrt.rs/2e7eoml

For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance 2016, see tmsnrt.rs/2dZbdP5
    
    For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see 
    For TURKISH market report, see 
    For RUSSIAN market report, see )

 (Reporting by Karin Strohecker)

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