LONDON, Sept 18 (Reuters) - A surge in technology stocks helped lift Asian bourses to decade highs and emerging market shares to three-year highs on Monday, tracking gains in developed markets, whilst Friday's weak U.S. data kept tightening expectations at bay.
MSCI's benchmark emerging equities index rose almost 1 percent with Asian shares ex-Japan up just over 1 percent to highs not seen since late 2007.
The gains came after new closing highs on Wall Street on Friday with the Nasdaq setting an intraday record. This fuelled an appetite for Asian technology firms with Samsung Electronics up over 4 percent to a record high and chip maker SK Hynix up 3.2 percent.
The South Korean sub-index for electric and electronics shares touched a record intraday level after gaining 2.3 percent. The South Korean bourse leapt 1.4 percent to a six-week peak, its strongest daily performance since early May after no new provocations from nuclear-armed North Korea. The won also firmed 0.5 percent.
Indian shares rose 0.8 percent to an all-time high , and Hong Kong shares gained 1.3 percent as property stocks rallied following stronger-than-expected Chinese loan data.
Slower Chinese home price growth was also well-received as authorities were seen as less likely to tighten further. China mainland shares rose 0.3 percent, also supported by Friday's loosening of restrictions on stock index futures trading.
Emerging Europe opened strongly with Poland up almost 1 percent and Hungary shares at fresh record highs. South African stocks also rose 0.8 percent.
Per Hammarlund, chief emerging markets strategist at SEB, said Friday's weaker U.S. retail sales and industrial output data was underpinning the complex, as it had convinced markets that easy monetary conditions would continue for some time.
"Economic indicators aren't strong enough to motivate a sharp tightening cycle. It's driving home the message that it's going to be a very gradual withdrawal of quantitative easing and markets still aren't sure of a December hike," he said.
The average yield spread of emerging market sovereign bonds over U.S. Treasuries on the JPMorgan EMBI Global Diversified index narrowed to 286 basis points, a three-year low.
But currencies struggled to make headway in the face of a stronger dollar with the South African rand weakening 0.4 percent and the Turkish lira 0.6 percent.
China's yuan also continued to slide after last week's biggest weekly loss since November.
The Hungarian forint weakened 0.2 percent against the euro, trading at its weakest since early July as traders positioned for further unconventional monetary easing by the central bank on Tuesday.
The market is also awaiting Polish wage growth data due out later today, in case this surprises on the upside. "The Polish and Hungarian central banks have both been very dovish but you are seeing clear signs of inflation building, so if there is an uptrend they may have to rethink," said Hammarlund.
The Russian rouble was steady after Friday's expected 50 basis point rate cut by the Russian central bank. It said it would deliver more cuts in the next six months as inflation slows.
For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see
For TURKISH market report, see
For RUSSIAN market report, see) Emerging Markets Prices from Reuters Equities Latest Net Chg % Chg % Chg
Morgan Stanley Emrg Mkt Indx 1112.79 +10.63 +0.96 +29.05
Czech Rep 1050.07 -1.00 -0.10 +13.94
Poland 2519.99 +21.67 +0.87 +29.37
Hungary 38498.01 +172.08 +0.45 +20.29
Romania 8064.99 +51.67 +0.64 +13.83
Greece 773.13 -3.07 -0.40 +20.12
Russia 1126.57 +3.14 +0.28 -2.24
South Africa 49646.79 +372.19 +0.76 +13.09
Turkey 07578.47 -163.23 -0.15 +37.68
China 3363.22 +9.60 +0.29 +8.36
India 32467.60 +194.99 +0.60 +21.94
Currencies Latest Prev Local Local
close currency currency
% change % change
Czech Rep 26.09 26.09 -0.02 +3.50
Poland 4.28 4.28 -0.16 +2.82
Hungary 309.43 309.14 -0.09 -0.20
Romania 4.60 4.60 +0.03 -1.37
Serbia 119.08 118.98 -0.08 +3.59
Russia 57.54 57.62 +0.14 +6.47
Kazakhstan 340.32 339.47 -0.25 -1.96
Ukraine 26.16 26.19 +0.11 +3.21
South Africa 13.19 13.15 -0.30 +4.10
Kenya 102.90 103.00 +0.10 -0.52
Israel 3.53 3.52 -0.24 +9.14
Turkey 3.46 3.44 -0.56 +2.05
China 6.56 6.55 -0.21 +5.78
India 64.06 64.11 +0.08 +6.07
Brazil 3.11 3.11 -0.03 +4.64
Mexico 17.68 17.66 -0.11 +17.18
Debt Index Strip Spd Chg %Rtn Index
Sov'gn Debt EMBIG 308 0 .00 8 07.28 1
Reporting by Claire Milhench; graphic by Alexander Winning