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FX recovers as Fed tightening fears ebb; stocks set for weekly losses

05/14/2021 | 05:10am EDT

* EM stocks drop 10% from Feb highs to hit correction territory

* Time for raising interest rates has come closer - Czech c.bank

* Polish inflation jumps, GDP shrinks in first quarter

May 14 (Reuters) - Most emerging market currencies gained on Friday, helped by a calmer dollar and easing Treasury yields as comments from Federal Reserve officials soothed concerns over immediate policy tightening, while stocks were set for their worst week since February.

MSCI's index of emerging market currencies gained 0.2%, but was set to snap a five-week winning streak, while stocks were set to drop nearly 3.5% this week and more than 10% from their February peak, hitting correction territory.

Most emerging market assets were set to drop for the week after data on Wednesday showed U.S. inflation in April gained the most in nearly 12 years, intensifying concerns of tighter monetary policy.

However, those concerns eased after Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller said on Thursday the Fed would not raise rates until it sees inflation above target for a long time, or excessively high inflation.

The dollar and benchmark Treasury yields trended lower after Waller's comments, but were set to gain for the week.

Still, inflation fears continue to grip emerging markets, with economists forecasting further spikes this year as commodity, food and input prices rise due to the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"A range of factors is conspiring to push up global inflation, including base effects, rising commodity prices (food, metals and oil), supply-side bottlenecks, and pent-up demand in some sectors," said Luiz Eduardo Peixoto, an economist at BNP Paribas.

"In EM, we suspect inflation could prove a bigger issue in coming months than many seem ready for and we have increased our inflation projections across the board in all EM regions."

The Turkish lira and Russian rouble gained 0.4% and 0.1% respectively, while the South African rand eased 0.3%.

Most central European currencies including the Hungarian forint, Polish zloty and Czech crown rose between 0.1% and 0.4% ahead of key economic data and central bank commentary.

The crown edged 0.3% higher after members of the Czech central bank's 7-strong board agreed the time for raising interest rates has come much closer, while the country's current account showed a lower-than-expected surplus in March.

Poland's zloty edged higher after its inflation jumped to 4.3% in April from a year ago, while its GDP shrank by 1.2% in the first quarter, above analyst forecasts.

Calculations from BofA showed that emerging market equity funds attracted $3.9 billion in the week to Wednesday, their largest inflows in the past four weeks, while debt funds took in $1.2 billion in a sixth straight week of inflows.

For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance in 2021, see http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance in 2021, see https://tmsnrt.rs/2OusNdX

For TOP NEWS across emerging markets

For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see

For TURKISH market report, see

For RUSSIAN market report, see

(Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Chopra)

ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / US DOLLAR (AUD/USD) 0.49% 0.72616 Delayed Quote.-5.64%
BNP PARIBAS 3.50% 53.16 Real-time Quote.19.15%
BRITISH POUND / US DOLLAR (GBP/USD) 0.01% 1.36597 Delayed Quote.-0.09%
CANADIAN DOLLAR / US DOLLAR (CAD/USD) 0.63% 0.78536 Delayed Quote.-0.53%
EURO / TURKISH LIRA (EUR/TRY) 0.28% 10.14211 Delayed Quote.12.12%
EURO / US DOLLAR (EUR/USD) 0.12% 1.17362 Delayed Quote.-4.00%
INDIAN RUPEE / US DOLLAR (INR/USD) -0.11% 0.013552 Delayed Quote.-0.82%
LONDON BRENT OIL 1.81% 75.92 Delayed Quote.43.56%
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR / US DOLLAR (NZD/USD) 0.48% 0.70296 Delayed Quote.-2.29%
US DOLLAR / RUSSIAN ROUBLE (USD/RUB) -0.22% 72.811 Delayed Quote.-0.72%
US DOLLAR / TURKISH LIRA (USD/TRY) 0.18% 8.6357 Delayed Quote.16.73%
WTI 1.85% 72.033 Delayed Quote.46.62%
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