October 1, 2019 / 9:22 AM / 2 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Growth woes, trade uncertainty keep lid on stocks, Turkey's lira slides

* Asian tech-heavy indices track Wall Street gains

* EM currencies near 4-week lows, Turkey’s lira slumps

* China and Hong Kong markets shut for holiday

By Agamoni Ghosh

Oct 1 (Reuters) - Emerging market stocks held steady on Tuesday as weak business readings from major economies amid uncertainty related to trade ties between the United States and China kept investors in a cautious mood, while Turkey’s lira led a slide among currencies.

Manufacturing activity in the euro zone contracted at its steepest rate in almost seven years last month, a survey showed, suggesting there would not be a turnaround any time soon.

That exacerbated worries over risks to the global economy, which has already taken a hit from a protracted trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

The two sides are due to meet for high-level trade talks next week in Washington but it is not clear if they will be able to resolve the dispute.

“One possibility is for a ceasefire deal which may lift market sentiment in the short-term but I don’t think it will be enough to get the global economy back on track,” said Jakob Christensen, chief analyst and head of EM research at Danske Bank.

Overnight gains on Wall Street after the U.S. dismissed reports that the Trump administration was considering de-listing Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges as “fake news,” helped Asian tech-heavy indices.

The world’s largest contract chipmaker TSMC jumped nearly 3% to an all-time high, thrusting the Taiwan index to its best session since Aug 30.

South Korean shares ticked up led by medical stocks after Celltrion said it had won a supply deal worth $71.85 million.

MSCI’s index of developing world stocks traded flat to lower with stocks in India , South Africa and Turkey drifting down. Markets in China and Hong Kong were closed for a public holiday.

Turkey’s lira was the biggest loser on currency markets, down 0.7%, followed by South Africa’s rand which lost 0.5% against a stronger dollar.

Data showed Turkish manufacturing activity stopped contracting in September after 17 months as a pick up in new orders drove production and increased staffing levels.

Investors were, however, not convinced an ambitious target of 5% growth set for 2020 by the government could be achieved and if so, at what cost.

“How they look to achieve that growth figure is questionable when foreign inflows are muted at best,” said Christensen.

“The only way to achieve that figure may be through short doses of monetary easing which is quite precarious to do when the economy is in an already fragile condition.”

For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance 2019, see tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance 2019, see 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 Agamoni Ghosh; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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