June 30, 2017 / 5:58 PM / in 4 months

Graphic: Emerging markets enjoy vintage start to year

LONDON (Reuters) - Emerging markets have had one of their best first halves to a year on record, with stocks up 17.5 percent and a 15 percent surge by Mexico’s peso underscoring how worries about U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies have been forgotten for now.

A broker monitors share prices while trading at a brokerage firm in Mumbai May 13, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Files

As this graphic - tmsnrt.rs/2hn5N02 - shows, Poland has been the star performer for stocks trackers, with a 34 percent rise in dollar terms thanks to strong growth numbers and a more than 12 percent rise in the zloty.

Central and eastern Europe has been a hotspot all round.

The Czech crown is up over 11 percent versus the dollar, Hungary's forint is up 8 percent despite an uber-dovish central bank and Romania's leu, in a country which has just had a political crisis, is up 7.7 percent. (See graphic, tmsnrt.rs/2hniYya)

Mexican, Indian, Chinese, and Turkish stocks have taken off, climbing somewhere between 20 and 30 percent.

The boom has come as investors have shrugged off the U.S. rate rises, oil and tech tumbles and looked to the positives.

The dollar has just had its worst quarter in almost seven years which means EM currencies are up. Global growth is gaining traction and borrowing costs via bond yields had been steadily sliding again until this week.

As well as flying equities, bonds in local emerging market currencies have returned almost 11 percent in dollar terms, while hard currency sovereign debt is up over 6 percent. (For the breakdown click here tmsnrt.rs/2ih2QQ9)

There are always laggards though.

Russian equities, heavily oil-reliant and a star of late 2016, have lost 15 percent and the rift between Qatar and its Middle East neighbours has seen its stocks clobbered 12 percent in a matter of weeks.

Though there has been a rebound this week, Brazil’s real has been a poor performer. It is down over 1 percent due to fresh corruption scandals that have hit the country.

Another one to avoid has been the Philippine peso which is down 1.7 percent on fears that Islamic State, on the backfoot in Iraq and Syria, is trying to set up a stronghold in the Muslim south of the country.

Emerging markets in 2017 tmsnrt.rs/2ihRugV

EM stocks in 2017 tmsnrt.rs/2hn5N02

EM currencies in 2017 tmsnrt.rs/2hniYya

EM bonds in 2017 tmsnrt.rs/2ih2QQ9

Reporting by Marc Jones

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