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Emerging market shares rose on Tuesday with focus on a cut in U.S. interest rates and resumption of U.S.-China trade talks, while developing world currencies were mixed.
The U.S. Federal Reserve will begin a two-day policy meeting later in the day, at which it is widely expected to lower interest rates by 25 basis points. If implemented, it would be the central bank’s first rate cut in a decade.
Emerging market assets have rallied this year on hopes that major central banks will cut interest rates in the face of slowing growth, which has largely stemmed from the impact of a long drawn-out trade war between the Unites States and China.
“Anything less than 25bp and a commitment to cut further over the coming months would probably spark a negative reaction in markets,” Gareth Leather, senior Asia economist at Capital Economics, told the Reuters Global Market Forum.
MSCI’s index for emerging market shares moved higher with Asian indices doing most of the heavy lifting led by mainland Chinese shares .
South Korean shares bounced, recouping some of the previous day’s sharp losses, but uncertainties remained high amid a worsening diplomatic and economic spat with Japan.
The won was marginally higher.
Indices outside Asia were more mixed, with stocks in Moscow shedding 0.3% but those in Johannesburg higher.
South Africa’s rand weakened ahead of Eskom’s full-year financial results. The appointment of an interim chief executive for Eskom on Monday failed to dispel investor worries about the debt-laden state utility provider.
Rating agencies Fitch and Moody’s last week warned about fiscal pressure on South Africa in lieu of a larger bailout planned for the company which is likely to pile pressure on the currency.
Turkey’s lira firmed to its strongest level since July 5 after an upbeat inflation report by the central bank.
Investors are also eyeing a possible revision to the recession-hit economy’s inflation outlook on Wednesday, after the central bank slashed key interest rates last week.