LONDON, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Emerging equities hit two-week lows on Monday, weighed down by global politics, the prospect of higher U.S. interest rates, a retreat in tech stocks and weak Chinese property shares.
With the dollar index making gains and U.S. 10-year yields just off six-week highs, MSCI emerging equity benchmark fell 0.8 percent for its third straight session in the red and the steepest daily decline in more than six weeks.
Falls were led by bourses in Asia, where heavyweight Hong Kong tumbled 1.3 percent and Chinese mainland stocks fell 0.5 percent led by property firms after some cities imposed new housing curbs on the overheated market.
Taiwan's index tumbled more than 1 percent while South Korea eased 0.4 percent. Losses in both markets were led by tech stocks.
MSCI's emerging market tech index has risen more than 50 percent since the start of the year compared to a 27 percent rise in the overall emerging benchmark. But the index has felt some pressure after a selloff in Apple earlier this month.
"Consolidation in Apple shares has also caused a pause in the sharp ascent in emerging market equities as tech has contributed around 50 percent of the emerging equity rally this year," said UBS strategist Manik Narain.
"But broadly speaking we see no major shakes in emerging markets this is just a brief pause in the rally."
Adding to the sombre mood was some uneasiness across global markets following Sunday's German election, which saw Chancellor Angela Merkel secure a fourth term in power yet face a fractured parliament as support for the far-right surged.
And markets were still digesting last week's meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve, which saw the bank leaving interest rates unchanged but signalling it would stick to rate hikes despite a recent bout of low inflation.
"We have seen some pressure on the front end of the U.S. yield curve and G10 data judging from flash PMIs has been very strong so that's led EM to come off a bit," said Narain.
On currency markets, China's yuan fell 0.3 percent to the weakest level in nearly four weeks, slipping through the psychologically important 6.6 to the dollar level.
Turkey's lira, sensitive towards U.S. interest rate moves, racked up some of the biggest falls, weakening 1 percent.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Turkey was evaluating economic, political, diplomatic and military steps in response to the Iraqi Kurdish independence referendum being held on Monday.
Iraqi Kurds are heading to the polls to vote in a historic independence referendum which is expected to deliver a comfortable "yes" vote.
Ankara, which fears the spread of separatism among Turkey's Kurdish population, has said it will not recognise the referendum.
However, Russia's rouble held onto gains made in the previous week on the back of higher oil prices and support from domestic month-end tax payments.
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 1094.24 -8.01 -0.73 +26.90
Czech Rep 1044.10 -2.41 -0.23 +13.29
Poland 2480.95 +0.22 +0.01 +27.36
Hungary 38156.18 -22.45 -0.06 +19.23
Romania 7861.28 +13.18 +0.17 +10.96
Greece 765.63 -8.31 -1.07 +18.95
Russia 1126.64 +3.40 +0.30 -2.23
South Africa 49564.68 +15.83 +0.03 +12.90
Turkey 02268.73 -1854.12 -1.78 +30.88
China 3340.81 -11.72 -0.35 +7.64
India 31544.19 -378.25 -1.18 +18.47
Currencies Latest Prev Local Local
close currency currency
% change % change
Czech Rep 26.04 26.04 -0.03 +3.70
Poland 4.27 4.27 -0.07 +3.16
Hungary 310.09 309.74 -0.11 -0.41
Romania 4.59 4.60 +0.02 -1.29
Serbia 119.42 119.30 -0.10 +3.29
Russia 57.30 57.48 +0.31 +6.91
Kazakhstan 341.15 341.07 -0.02 -2.20
Ukraine 26.31 26.27 -0.15 +2.62
South Africa 13.25 13.24 -0.06 +3.66
Kenya 103.15 103.15 +0.00 -0.76
Israel 3.51 3.49 -0.54 +9.69
Turkey 3.52 3.50 -0.71 +0.18
China 6.62 6.59 -0.40 +4.94
India 64.96 64.79 -0.26 +4.60
Brazil 3.12 3.12 -0.02 +4.11
Mexico 17.77 17.74 -0.17 +16.56
Debt Index Strip Spd Chg %Rtn Index
Sov'gn Debt EMBIG 312 2 .00 8 04.35 1
All data taken from Reuters at 09:02 GMT. Currency percent change calculated from the daily U.S.
close at 2130 GMT.
Reporting by Karin Strohecker, additional reporting by Sujata Rao