• Thursday, February 22, 2024
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BusinessDay

Emerging stocks fall most in six weeks on China

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Emerging-market stocks slumped the most in six weeks as reports showed Chinese manufacturing growth slowed and political tension escalated in Thailand. The Turkish lira touched a record low against the dollar.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index fell 1.2 percent to 990.39 in New York on Friday, its steepest drop since Nov. 21. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index (HSCEI) of mainland companies listed in Hong Kong slid 1 percent, the biggest loss since Dec. 20.

The baht weakened 0.3 percent to the lowest since February 2010, while Thai stocks slumped the most among 94 gauges tracked by Bloomberg.

The lira depreciated 1.2 percent versus the dollar and the Ibovespa (IBOV) fell for the first time in three days.

A Purchasing Managers’ Index compiled by China’s statistics bureau and logistics federation declined to a four-month low.

Groups opposed to Thailand’s caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra plan to surround government ministries and occupy 20 major intersections in Bangkok on Jan. 13 until she agrees to step down.

Turkey’s government is fighting back against the judiciary after a graft probe forced the resignation of three ministers.

“PMI data in China and political turmoil in Turkey, none of this is conducive to create good sentiment toward emerging markets,” Christian Keller, the head of emerging-market research at Barclays Plc in London, said. “Today it is mainly China. People are a bit disappointed.”

The MSCI emerging-markets gauge trades at 10.4 times its 12-month projected earnings, compared with 14.7 times for the MSCI World Index, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

China’s PMI fell to 51 from 51.4, missing the 51.2 median estimates in a Bloomberg News survey of economists.

HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics published a separate gauge Friday that fell to 50.5 from 50.8, in line with the average prediction. A figure above 50 indicates expansion.