March 12, 2019 / 10:11 AM / 2 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Stocks, currencies gain on renewed trade hopes

* MSCI EM stocks benchmark rises 1 percent

* Stocks rise in China, South Korea, Taiwan

* British approval of Brexit deal could boost emerging Europe FX

By Aaron Saldanha

March 12 (Reuters) - Emerging-market stocks and currencies rose on Tuesday, helped by renewed risk appetite among investors as hopes grew for a U.S.-China trade deal and progress on Brexit in Britain.

China and the United States set the next steps in "working arrangements" on trade after Chinese Vice Premier Liu He spoke with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported.

"We truly believe there will be a deal, but there are some times it may be more tricky to get through the last parts and over the finishing line ... ," said Jakob Christensen, chief analyst and head of EM research at Danske Bank.

Reports that the European Union gave British Prime Minister Theresa May legally binding assurances before a crucial vote in the British parliament on her proposed Brexit agreement also improved risk sentiment.

Chinese blue chips gained 0.7 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.1 percent. Taiwanese and South Korean stock indexes each rose 0.9 percent.

MSCI's index of developing-world stocks rose 1 percent. The MSCI benchmark has gained about 2 percent this week, its best two-day performance in more than six weeks.

Russia's rouble ticked 0.2 percent higher, while local stocks rose 0.4 percent as energy stocks tracked higher oil prices, which built on Monday's 1.3 percent gain.

Turkey's lira gained 0.2 percent. Turkish stocks rose half a percent.

South Africa's rand rose 0.2 percent. Stocks rose 0.3 percent on gains among financials and consumer stocks.

In emerging Europe, a region exposed to a hard Brexit, regional currencies strengthened up. The European Commission agreed to changes in a proposed Brexit deal before the British parliament votes later in the day.

Poland's zloty and Hungary's forint both gained against the euro. Eastern European currencies should strengthen if the Brexit deal is approved, Danske Bank's Christensen said

A survey here of more than 500 logistics industry executives by logistics firm Agility showed 59 percent of respondents expect emerging markets to seek concessions from the UK in post-Brexit trade deals.

Moving in the other direction, Romania's leu fell against the euro after data showed the country's trade deficit widened more than 60 percent on the year in January.

For TOP NEWS across emerging markets

For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see

For TURKISH market report, see

For RUSSIAN market report, see (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Marc Jones in London, editing by Larry King)

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