July 18, 2019 / 9:33 AM / a month ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Stocks fall on trade worries, weak economic data

* Mainland China shares lead equity declines

* Bank of Korea and Indonesia cut interest rates

By Agamoni Ghosh

July 18 (Reuters) - Emerging-market shares fell on Thursday amid weak economic data from Japan and disappointing corporate results in the United States, the latest signs the U.S.-China trade conflict was unlikely to be resolved anytime soon.

MSCI's index for emerging-market shares slid 0.2%, led by declines for mainland China shares led declines, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 0.6%.

Outside Asia, Moscow stocks fell 0.3%. Johannesburg trading was mostly flat.

Most developing-world currencies gained against a tepid dollar.

Growth worries have pushed central banks around the world to adopt a more dovish stance, following the U.S. Federal Reserve's lead, with the Bank of Korea going a step ahead and surprising with a rate cut on Thursday.

South Korea's won rose 0.2% after the Bank of Korea unexpectedly cut interest rates on Thursday. A brewing trade dispute with Japan may have put more pressure on the trade-dependent economy's central bank to move.

"The addition of the Japan-South Korea trade tensions into the mix was perhaps the final straw that tipped the BoK over into calling for a rate cut, against a market consensus of a 15/10 hold/cut," said Howie Lee, an economist at OCBC Bank.

Indonesia's central bank joined the doves, cutting its benchmark interest rate for the first time in nearly two years in a bid to lift sluggish economic growth. The rupiah was little changed.

The rand was up 0.3% before a South African central bank meeting where officials were expected to cut rates by 25 basis points.

The Turkish lira was only 0.2% lower, an underwhelming response to the U.S. decision to remove Ankara from the F-35 fighter jet programme after it began taking delivery of a Russian missile defence system last week.

For TOP NEWS across emerging markets

For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see

For TURKISH market report, see

For RUSSIAN market report, see (Reporting by Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru)

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