* Rand volatility nears 3-mth highs
* Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent fall on new regulatory woes
* Oil weakness hits Russian rouble
July 19 (Reuters) - Emerging market stocks and currencies
tumbled on Monday as investors rushed to safe havens on rising
COVID-19 cases around the globe, while fears of stricter
regulations weighed on major Chinese technology stocks.
MSCI's index of emerging market (EM) currencies
dropped 0.4% and was headed for its worst day in
a month, with Turkey's lira and the South African rand
leading losses across Europe, the Middle East and Africa
(EMEA). Both currencies fell about 0.7%.
Losses in heavyweight Chinese technology stocks dragged
MSCI's EM stock index 1.3% lower. Most bourses in EMEA
fell between 0.6% and 1.2%.
Alibaba and Tencent, two of the top
three stocks on the MSCI index, fell about 3% and 2.5%,
A Shanghai court at the weekend posted a list of "typical
unfair competition cases" involving several major Chinese tech
companies, including Alibaba, Tencent, and search engine Baidu
which dropped 3.8%.
But rising virus cases, particularly of the highly
infectious Delta variant, cast a pall over most risk-driven
assets, and encouraged flows into safe havens such as the dollar
and the Japanese yen.
"Increasing nerves about the delta-variant COVID-19 are
sapping recovery hopes across the Asia-Pacific... you can choose
your poison on that front globally, with the U.S., Europe, and
the UK also experiencing rises in cases," Jeffrey Halley ,
Senior Market Analyst, Asia Pacific, at OANDA, wrote in a note.
South Africa's rand fell 0.7% after wild swings over the
past few sessions, as the weak risk appetite exacerbated
concerns over civil violence in the country.
One-month dollar options on the rand, a common
gauge of volatility, hovered just below three-month highs.
Turkey's lira was set to snap a six-day winning streak. The
currency has been among the top performing EM units over the
past few weeks with a yield of 19% - the highest in the world -
and the prospect of near-term stable monetary policy attracting
Minutes of the central bank's meeting last week will be
scrutinised for further affirmation of steady policy.
Turkish markets will be closed for the rest of the week.
Russia's rouble fell 0.4%, tracking a drop in oil
prices after OPEC+ reached a deal to increase supply. Fears of
waning demand, due to a rise in virus cases, have also rattled
oil markets in recent weeks.
Central European currencies retreated against the euro and
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 Ambar Warrick; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)