LONDON, May 8 (Reuters) - Emerging equities rose towards a one-week high on Monday and Eastern European currencies firmed against the euro in a broad relief rally after centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron's emphatic victory in the French presidential election.
Business-friendly Macron scooped over 60 percent of the vote, defeating far right nationalist Marine Le Pen who had threatened to take France out of the European Union.
Eastern European currencies strengthened following the result, as Macron's victory removed the Le Pen threat to EU structural fund transfers to big recipients Poland and Hungary.
The Polish zloty led the pack, gaining up to 0.5 percent in early trade against the euro to test 20-month highs. The Czech crown firmed 0.2 percent to hit its firmest level in a month and the Hungarian forint held steady near two-week highs.
But Piotr Matys, an emerging FX strategist at Rabobank, said scope for further gains was likely to prove limited given this outcome had been fully priced in.
"In fact, the CEEs may soften against the U.S. dollar in the coming days," he said in a note.
MSCI's benchmark emerging stocks index gained 0.7 percent, helped by a strong performance in Asia where South Korean and Indonesian bourses hit record highs, up 2.3 percent and 0.6 percent respectively.
However, Chinese mainland shares retreated 0.8 percent to four-month lows, hindered by investor fears over tightening regulations .
Bourses in emerging Europe also suffered. Polish shares fell 0.4 percent, dragged lower by a 3 percent tumble in copper producer KGHM thanks to falling prices in the industrial metal.
Copper prices fell to their lowest in four months after the latest trade data from China - the world's top consumer of the metal - showed imports of concentrate and ore fell in April from the previous month amid a subdued outlook for industrial activity. However, they rose compared to a year earlier.
The data also weighed on commodity currencies, together with oil prices remaining well remain below $50 a barrel due to a persistent glut.
The Russian rouble slipped 0.3 percent against the dollar and the South African rand eased 0.5 percent.
"The market is just pulling back," said Cristian Maggio, head of emerging markets strategy at TD Securities, adding that some of the optimism in emerging markets that had developed after the French presidential first-round vote was now unwinding.
"Some of the names that have been benefiting quite a bit – the rand, the lira, and to some extend the rouble, which remains overvalued – are all pulling back."
China's yuan was steady on the day as data showed foreign exchange reserves had risen for a third straight month in April, beating market expectations as capital controls and a pause in the dollar's rally helped stem capital outflows.
Julian Evans-Pritchard, an economist at Capital Economics, said capital outflows could pick up in coming quarters, but the renminbi was now closer to fair value than a couple of years ago, and with the bulk of the dollar's appreciation behind it, he did not expect outflows to get out of control.
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Emerging Markets Prices from Reuters Equities Latest Net Chg % Chg % Chg
Morgan Stanley Emrg Mkt Indx 985.47 +7.20 +0.74 +14.29
Czech Rep 1005.94 +4.19 +0.42 +9.15
Poland 2372.28 -9.89 -0.42 +21.79
Hungary 32723.17 -140.87 -0.43 +2.25
Romania 8252.06 -46.59 -0.56 +16.47
Greece 754.27 +0.28 +0.04 +17.19
Russia 1085.68 +4.46 +0.41 -5.78
South Africa 47028.36 +18.57 +0.04 +7.12
Turkey 94432.88 +504.49 +0.54 +20.85
China 3076.79 -26.25 -0.85 -0.87
India 29961.42 +102.62 +0.34 +12.52
Currencies Latest Prev Local Local
close currency currency
% change % change
Czech Rep 26.69 26.72 +0.11 +1.17
Poland 4.20 4.21 +0.14 +4.79
Hungary 311.53 311.52 -0.00 -0.87
Romania 4.54 4.55 +0.10 -0.20
Serbia 123.02 123.02 +0.00 +0.27
Russia 58.11 57.91 -0.34 +5.43
Kazakhstan 318.41 318.41 +0.00 +4.79
Ukraine 26.49 26.49 +0.00 +1.93
South Africa 13.48 13.42 -0.44 +1.90
Kenya 103.10 103.00 -0.10 -0.71
Israel 3.60 3.59 -0.35 +6.95
Turkey 3.55 3.54 -0.15 -0.61
China 6.90 6.90 -0.01 +0.58
India 64.22 64.30 +0.12 +5.80
Brazil 3.18 3.18 +0.02 +2.45
Mexico 18.94 18.99 +0.27 +9.38
Debt Index Strip Spd Chg %Rtn Index
Sov'gn Debt EMBIG 321 0 .04 7 78.84 1
Additional reporting by Karin Strohecker, editing by Ed Osmond