EMERGING MARKETS-Stocks fall for a fifth day as recession worries grow
By Sruthi Shankar
Aug 15 (Reuters) - Emerging-market stocks fell for a fifth straight session on Thursday as fears of a global recession grew and most currencies struggled, although the South African rand and the Turkish lira gained.
The rand ZAR= rose about 1% after reaching an 11-month low, weakened by the risk aversion that has hit global markets as the U.S.-China trade war continued.
The lira TRY= rose as much as 1.2% as local investors returning from a three-day holiday in Turkey. Data released on Thursday supported the move, showing unemployment fell to 12.8% in the April-June period and a primary surplus in July's budget . Both currencies later weakened.
"It's surprising these two currencies are rebounding so strongly. All I can say is people are trying to picking a bottom here," said Paul Fage, senior emerging markets strategist at TD Securities, London.
"It's generally true of EM currencies that it's hard to have any strong conviction when the global situation is so volatile."
The U.S. yield curve remained inverted for a second day after spurring a selloff in risky assets on Wednesday. An inverted curve is a signal the world's biggest economy might be heading for recession as the U.S.-China trade war drags on.
Investors were also watching the turmoil in Hong Kong, where police and protesters faced off again, after U.S. President Donald Trump tied a U.S. trade deal with China to a humane resolution of the protests .
The territory's Hang Seng index .HSI staged a reversal as mainland investors hunted for bargains. Chinese stocks .SSEC, .CSI300 also edged higher, lifted by real estate stocks, after a report showed new home prices rose in July, a bright spot in the slowing economy.
The MSCI index of developing-world stocks .MSCIEF fell for the fifth day in a row, reaching a seven-month low. Taiwanese stocks .TWII fell about a percent. Turkey's BIST 100 .XU100 slid over 2%, led lower by banking shares.
Stock markets in South Korea, India, Poland and Romania were closed for local holidays.
The Mexican peso MXN= held steady before the central bank's decision on interest rates. Analysts increasingly expect a rate cut to lift Mexico's sluggish economy .
For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance 2019, see http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance 2019, see https://tmsnrt.rs/2OusNdX
For TOP NEWS across emerging markets
For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see CEE/
For TURKISH market report, see .IS
For RUSSIAN market report, see RU/RUB
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru, editing by Larry King)
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