* Chinese yuan logs best session in six weeks
* Russia's rouble up ahead of 1030 GMT cenbank decision
* JPMorgan slashes Evergrande PT
* Fitch upgrades Taiwan
Sept 10 (Reuters) - Emerging market assets welcomed signals
that Washington and Beijing may be looking to ease strained
relations, sending China's yuan up 0.3% on Friday, while
Russia's rouble firmed ahead of a rate hike expected at a
central bank meeting.
MSCI's index of EM shares also rose about 1%,
cheered by a call between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese
leader Xi Jinping.
An explosive relationship between the two biggest economies
under former U.S. President Donald Trump had roiled markets and
contributed to slowing economic growth.
The yuan posted its best session in six weeks, last
trading at 6.44 against the dollar and logging its third
straight week of gains.
"Signs of willingness to nudge bilateral conversations onto
a more serious path could be a net positive for regional risk
assets, but spillovers to sentiments could be constrained
without more discernible translation to policy changes," said
Maybank FX strategists.
The EM index however was set to end the week lower as
concerns about a slowing pace to global economic recovery from
the coronavirus pandemic weighed.
In more bad news for debt-riddled property developer China
Evergrande, JPMorgan slashed its price target for the
company to HK$2.80 from HK$7.20 on Friday.
Russia's central bank is seen raising its key interest rate
by 50 basis points to 7% - its fifth hike this year - as it
approaches the end of a hiking cycle undertaken to contain
In August, Russia's annual inflation hit a 5-year peak.
The rouble rose 0.4% and was set to post its third
straight weekly gain, barring any central bank disappointments.
The decision is due at 1030 GMT, followed by a 1200 GMT press
conference by governor Elvira Nabiullina.
South Africa's rand stayed close to 11-week highs hit
last session when data showed its current account surplus
widened to record highs.
The Kenyan shilling was up marginally after hard
currency inflows into government debt helped it eke out some
gains and move away from January lows in the previous session.
Taiwan assets were bolstered by a Fitch
upgrade. The ratings agency said the economy had outperformed
peer nations during the coronavirus pandemic and raised its
rating by a notch in the high investment grade category.
Overnight, Brazil's real jumped 2.4%, making up
almost all of Wednesday's losses, after President Jair Bolsonaro
stepped back from a feud with the Supreme Court.
Peru's sol was eyed after the country's central bank
raised its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points to 1%
after Thursday's market close, but stuck to an accommodative
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 Jan Harvey)