Aug 21 (Reuters) - Turkey’s lira bounced on Friday ahead of President Tayyip Erdogan’s speech widely anticipated to be on a gas discovery in the Black Sea, while Russia’s rouble slipped as investors were wary of geopolitical tensions with neighboring Belarus.
The lira firmed 0.6% against the greenback with focus on Erdogan’s speech due later in the day, as the energy find he is expected to talk about could help Turkey cut its dependence on energy imports that has kept current account deficits high.
The currency ended flat on Thursday, when the central bank kept interest rates unchanged as expected and raised forex and lira required reserve ratios (RRR) for commercial banks, to support the beleaguered currency.
“The increase in the FX RRR will boost the central bank’s gross FX reserves... but will not improve its weak net foreign assets position,” said Berna Bayazitoglu, an analyst at Credit Suisse.
After three straight weeks of losses, the currency, up 1.7%, is on course to post its best week since mid May. A credit rating review by Fitch is also on the radar.
MSCI’s index of emerging market shares rose 1% helped by a recovery in Asia stocks from steep declines in the last session. But it is set to end a four-week winning streak, down 1.1%.
While sentiment was supported by an upbeat session on Wall Street overnight, simmering U.S.-China trade tensions and figures showing slowing U.S. job growth kept gains in check.
Most EM currencies firmed against a steady dollar, while Russia’s fell 0.5% as oil prices declined.
In Belarus, opposition politician Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya called on her supporters to step up their strikes to try to force new presidential elections. Russia’s official response to the political crisis in the ex-soviet nation is awaited.
Belarus bonds were mixed in early trade and still off this week’s lows, while the currency was at its lowest since April and down 1.6% for the week.
Business activity data from the euro zone showed the bloc’s economic recovery stuttered this month, particularly in services. Similar data from the United States is awaited.
Hungary's forint fell 0.7% against a weaker euro after European PMI's. For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance 2020, see tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance 2020, see tmsnrt.rs/2OusNdX
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Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel
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