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Currencies slip as dollar gains on safe-haven demand, rand drops 1%

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09/23/2020 | 04:50am EDT

* Czech crown weakens ahead of c.bank policy decision

* EM stocks stabilize after dire start to the week

* Lower oil prices hit Russian rouble, stocks outperform

Sept 23 (Reuters) - Currencies in the developing world fell against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday, as investors preferred the safety of the greenback on risks to global economic revival from another round of coronavirus-induced curbs in Europe and the UK due to rising cases.

MSCI's index of emerging market currencies slipped for the third session, led by losses in the South African rand which dropped about 1%, easing further from a six-month high hit last week.

The Turkish lira set a new low against the dollar at 7.68, extending a series of record lows amid worries about negative yields due to high inflation and concerns over the central bank's depleted forex reserves.

Economists expect Turkey's central bank to keep policy rate on hold on Thursday despite the lira's slump, but raise funding costs through back-door measures.

In central Europe, the Czech crown dipped 0.2% against the euro. Later in the day, Czech National Bank (CNB) is likely to leave interest rates unchanged at 0.25% after 200 basis point cuts this year to cushion the economic blow from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The room for more monetary easing to zero from its current 0.25% has diminished, but a steady CNB meeting outcome today is not expected to offer the CZK any concrete support in the current bearish environment," UniCredit analysts said in a note.

"It may be interesting to see whether the CNB opts to issue a warning that the fiscal stimulus that the government intends to push through in 2021 might be too much."

Lower oil prices pressured the Russian rouble ahead of the finance ministry's treasury bond auctions, a gauge of global market sentiment towards Russian assets.

Fears of more sanctions on Moscow have weighed on Russian assets in recent weeks over the political crisis in neighbouring Belarus and the suspected poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

However, the rouble is expected to receive some support from month-end tax payments that usually prompt export-focused companies to convert their dollar and euro revenues into roubles to meet local liabilities.

Russian stocks outperformed peers, with rouble-based index rising 2%. Leading gains on the index, internet giant Yandex jumped for a second straight session after announcing it was in talks to buy online bank Tinkoff for $5.48 billion.

Stocks in Johannesburg gained 0.6%, while those in Istanbul firmed about 1%.

For TOP NEWS across emerging markets

For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see

For TURKISH market report, see

For RUSSIAN market report, see (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)


Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
LONDON BRENT OIL -1.65% 41.66 Delayed Quote.-35.76%
US DOLLAR / RUSSIAN ROUBLE (USD/RUB) 0.00% 76.101 Delayed Quote.23.70%
US DOLLAR / TURKISH LIRA (USD/TRY) 0.00% 7.961 Delayed Quote.33.55%
WTI -2.04% 39.715 Delayed Quote.-33.87%
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