* Asia, Russia manufacturing PMIs weaken
* Russia GDP up 10.9% y-o-y in May
* Turkey hikes reserve requirement ratios on some FX liabilities
* Latam COVID-19 cases rise, Russia hits highest daily deaths
July 1 (Reuters) - Emerging market stocks and currencies made a grim start to the second half of the year on Thursday, pressured by subdued factory activity data from several countries, but gains outside Asia helped cap losses for the broader indexes.
A weak June manufacturing PMI reading from Russia followed surveys that showed here it grew at a slower pace in China and Japan due to rising raw material prices, while activity shrank in Vietnam, Malaysia and India, where governments imposed tougher restrictions to contain fresh coronavirus outbreaks.
“Concerns about the Delta variant (of the coronavirus) and fears of related news might cause uncertainty and risk aversion on the markets to rise,” said Antje Praefcke, an analyst at Commerzbank.
Russia’s COVID-19 deaths hit a new high on Thursday, while the Pan American Health Organization warned that cases in Latin America and the Caribbean COVID-19 are rising and vaccination is lagging badly. Most Latam stocks and currencies ended lower on Wednesday.
Currencies across emerging Asia were flat to lower, with the Philippine peso hitting August lows, while South Africa’s rand lost 0.4%.
The rouble, however, gained 0.5% against the dollar, tracking higher oil prices ahead of an OPEC meeting. Data showed here Russia's economic growth rose 10.9% year-on-year in May, continuing its recovery after a 3% decline in 2020.
The greenback held steady ahead of a much anticipated U.S. jobs data that is being watched to see if it would prompt the Federal Reserve to start tightening policy sooner than forecast.
Turkey’s lira climbed 0.3%, on a combination of factory activity returning to growth and the central bank’s revision to reserve requirement rations, which could shore up depleting forex reserves as well as lira holdings.
A hike in utility prices in Turkey is seen fanning inflation, which is already in double digits and well above target, and comes as the central bank faces pressure to lower interest rates in the next two months from President Tayyip Erdogan.
While several EM stock benchmarks in Asia fell, taking MSCI’s index of EM stocks down 0.2%, those across emerging Europe, Middle East and Africa rallied tracking a strong start for Western European indexes.
Russia’s MOEX was within a whisker of record highs, while Turkish stocks rose almost 1% to break a four-day losing streak and were on course for their best session in over three weeks.
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For RUSSIAN market report, see (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)