Tue, Apr 07, 2015 - Page 14 News List

Emerging markets see currencies rise to five-week high as crude oil edges up


Currencies from emerging markets yesterday rallied to a five-week high and stocks from Russia to India advanced as oil jumped and disappointing US jobs data triggered bets that the US Federal Reserve would delay raising interest rates.

The ruble climbed for a fourth day against the US dollar, extending this year’s biggest appreciation globally, as Brent crude rebounded as much as 3.6 percent to US$56.90 per barrel.

Russia’s OAO Sberbank led shares in Moscow higher, while Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) climbed for the first time in three days in Riyadh.

Elsewhere, Malaysia’s ringgit increased 1 percent. Samsung Electronics Co paced gains among technology companies. Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd surged to a record in Mumbai.

An index tracking currencies from 20 developing nations added 0.2 percent by 11:37am yesterday in London.

The measure had jumped 1.2 percent last week — its second-best performance in 18 months — after employment data became the latest US statistic to trail estimates, helping boost appetite for riskier assets. US employers last month added the fewest jobs since December 2013.

“Weak US macroeconomic data gives investors hope that the Fed will hike rates later rather than sooner,” Vladimir Vedeneev, the chief investment officer at Raiffeisen Capital Asset Management in Moscow, said by e-mail. “We’re seeing a reversal of the strong capital outflows from emerging markets into US assets. Oil seems to have found a fragile balance, which is positive.”

Investors added US$561.5 million to US-traded funds that buy emerging-market stocks and bonds for the third straight week, led by accelerating flows into China and Hong Kong, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

In the first quarter, the funds lost US$1.6 billion.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index climbed 0.8 percent to 1,002.43 yesterday, its sixth day of increases.

Markets in Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand and Poland were among exchanges shut yesterday for holidays.

Brent, the benchmark used to price Russia’s main export blend, has moved between a low of US$52.50 a barrel and a high of US$63 a barrel in the past two months after sliding to a six-year low of US$45.19 in January. It gained yesterday as Saudi Arabia raised prices for shipments to Asia.

The advance helped boost assets in oil-exporting countries, with the ruble appreciating 0.4 percent to 56.373 rubles to the US dollar, and the ringgit climbing to a one-month high of 3.6315 ringgit against the greenback. Malaysia is Asia’s only major oil exporter.

Sberbank, Russia’s biggest bank, added 0.8 percent in Moscow.

SABIC climbed 0.6 percent in Riyadh, where the broader equity gauge was little changed. Stock indices in Dubai and India advanced at least 0.9 percent.

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