LONDON, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Slower Chinese growth crimped investor appetite for emerging market stocks on Thursday, which hit a one-week low after heavy losses in Asia spread to Europe, but currencies such as the rand and lira snapped a three-day losing streak.
MSCI's benchmark emerging stocks index fell 0.75 percent with big losses in Hong Kong after third quarter growth in the world's second-largest economy cooled to 6.8 percent from 6.9 percent in the second quarter.
Analysts had pencilled in a gradual GDP slowdown due to an expected softening in property investment and construction, but the numbers raised questions about the more optimistic expectations flagged by China's central bank governor this week.
"The market was not particularly impressed with the numbers," said Cristian Maggio, head of emerging markets strategy at TD Securities.
"These figures also just come at the margin of a not-positive moment for emerging markets. Over the last few days, emerging markets have been a little bit choppy - we've had some markets, especially some Asian ones, which have not performed that well."
Chinese bourses led the falls, with Hong Kong stocks down almost 2 percent, their biggest one-day loss since August, as property shares tumbled, whilst Chinese mainland bourses slipped just over 0.3 percent.
Hong Kong traders focused on property data that showed sales in mainland China fell for the first time in over 2-1/2 years.
Index heavyweight South Korea also lost 0.4 percent to end at a one-week low, despite a bullish economic outlook from the central bank as it kept rates on hold.
The selling spread to emerging Europe with Warsaw down 0.9 percent to a 10-day low and Moscow trading 0.7 percent lower.
But currencies such as the South African rand and Turkish lira firmed against the dollar after three days of losses.
The rand recovered 0.4 percent after sliding 1.3 percent on Wednesday to a one-week low, rattled by President Jacob Zuma reshuffling his cabinet for a second time in seven months.
Investors are awaiting the mid-term budget from Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on Oct. 25, to see if he will address concerns over dwindling tax revenues.
"There is extremely little fiscal space for South Africa and we expect to hear that again," said Maggio. "'Bad' is one way to define the South Africa economy. Essentially you have growth that is stagnating," he said, adding that inflation was also a concern.
The lira strengthened 0.2 percent with the European Union expected to take a more conciliatory stance towards Ankara at a summit on Thursday.
The Mexican peso also steadied after falling around 0.4 percent on Wednesday. The peso has had a volatile week with investors eyeing the progress of talks to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
But the Russian rouble fell 0.3 percent to trade at a one-week low as oil prices tumbled 1.2 percent to below $58 a barrel. Neighbouring oil producer Kazakhstan's tenge also weakened 0.3 percent.
In eastern Europe, the Hungarian forint fell 0.2 percent against the euro, whilst the Czech crown hovered near a four-year high hit on Wednesday.
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 1118.50 -8.40 -0.75 +29.72
Czech Rep 1055.21 +1.38 +0.13 +14.50
Poland 2478.87 -23.47 -0.94 +27.26
Hungary 38934.92 -146.85 -0.38 +21.66
Romania 8027.75 -25.60 -0.32 +13.31
Greece 749.26 -8.23 -1.09 +16.41
Russia 1136.96 -10.83 -0.94 -1.33
South Africa 51359.69 -387.52 -0.75 +16.99
Turkey 07812.61 +886.22 +0.83 +37.98
China 3370.10 -11.70 -0.35 +8.59
India 0.00 +0.00 +0.00 -100.00
Currencies Latest Prev Local Local
close currency currency
% change % change
Czech Rep 25.73 25.71 -0.07 +4.97
Poland 4.24 4.23 -0.07 +3.94
Hungary 308.52 308.00 -0.17 +0.10
Romania 4.59 4.59 -0.11 -1.20
Serbia 118.91 118.92 +0.01 +3.73
Russia 57.64 57.45 -0.33 +6.29
Kazakhstan 334.37 333.47 -0.27 -0.22
Ukraine 26.50 26.42 -0.30 +1.89
South Africa 13.56 13.57 +0.09 +1.26
Kenya 103.35 103.35 -0.00 -0.95
Israel 3.50 3.50 +0.13 +10.07
Turkey 3.67 3.68 +0.18 -3.88
China 6.63 6.63 -0.01 +4.79
India 65.06 65.04 -0.02 +4.44
Brazil 3.17 3.17 -0.03 +2.58
Mexico 18.85 18.86 +0.02 +9.88
Debt Index Strip Spd Chg %Rtn Index
Sov'gn Debt EMBIG 304 2 .06 8 07.30 1
Reporting by Claire Milhench; additional reporting by Karin Strohecker; Editing by Toby Chopra