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Lira firms after historic slide, other EM currencies follow as dollar pauses

11/24/2021 | 04:32am EST

* EM stocks attempt to snap 5-day losing streak

* Currencies of Hungary and Poland surge against euro

* More investors turning sour on EM - HSBC survey

* S.Korea, Hungary report record rise in daily COVID-19 cases

Nov 24 (Reuters) - Emerging market stocks looked to snap a five-day losing streak on Wednesday but falls in China's internet and property stocks limited gains, while Turkey's lira firmed 3% after plunging 11% during the last session on fears of more policy missteps.

Turkey's lira which slid to 13.45 a dollar for the first time on Tuesday, rose 3% to 12.3, although still in record low territory.

The fall, which took 2021 declines to 40%, has been driven by interest rates cuts demanded by President Tayyip Erdogan and signals of more to come, despite surging inflation.

Public anger with the government has mounted, and there has been a rush to convert lira incomes to foreign currency. The central bank on Tuesday said it can only intervene in markets under certain conditions of excessive volatility.

"Any attempt at FX intervention will run through (the central bank's) meagre reserves in a matter of days," said Commerzbank EM and FX analyst Tatha Ghose.

"Other soft capital controls are unlikely to help either – this is because lira depreciation pressure appears to be fundamental – based on the market's 'forward-looking' view about how negative real interest rates will get in Turkey over the medium-term."

Goldman Sachs said on Tuesday it now expected Turkey's central bank to ramp up interest rates to 20% in the second quarter of next year.

Other EM currencies also firmed as the dollar paused after a rally spurred by rising bets of faster policy tightening by the Federal Reserve.

An HSBC survey showed more than one in four investors feel 'bearish' about emerging markets, as slowing economic growth and the spectre of tighter monetary policy in the United States clouds outlook. EM equities are now trading at their deepest discount to developed markets since 2004, HSBC said.

After having fallen past 75 to the greenback on Tuesday, Russia's rouble climbed about 0.2% with investors closely watching comments and developments around Moscow's military build-up near Ukraine.

Currencies of Poland and Hungary surged against the euro, up about 0.7% each. The European Union said it was standing in solidarity with Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, amid a migrant crisis with neighboring Belarus.

Most developing market stocks gained with those in Europe, Middle East and Africa jumping between 0.2% and 1.8%. Stimulus promises buoyed mainland China stocks.

But some declines in Asia, including Chinese tech and property heavy-weights kept MSCI's broader index of EM shares steady.

Rising COVID-19 cases weighed on sentiment, with Hungary reporting a record rise in daily cases as did South Korea.

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 Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

ę Reuters 2021
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