March 5, 2019 / 9:47 AM / 3 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Chinese stocks rise; most emerging markets lag

* Chinese shares rise on stimulus effects

* South Africa’s rand up before fourth-quarter GDP

By Susan Mathew

March 5 (Reuters) - Emerging-market shares were little changed on Tuesday as rising Chinese stocks offset declines in most other markets, after China announced stimulus measures to help its slowing economy.

MSCI’s index of emerging-market shares ticked 0.13 percent higher, with shares in China, which have a significant weighting on the index, and Indian shares the bright spots in an otherwise gloomy developing world.

Mainland Chinese shares closed up 0.6 percent after Premier Li Keqiang announced tax cuts and higher public expenditure and lending to shore up a cooling economy.

But indexes from South Korea to South Africa fell as investors gauged Li’s revision of China’s 2019 economic growth target, to 6.0 to 6.5 percent, from 6.5 percent.

But analysts urged looking to the Chinese government’s commitment to offset external obstacles.

“Chinese growth is running above its trend rate (of around 5 percent) on official numbers ... Guiding for slower growth is sensible. The government also announced some tax cuts today to smooth the move to lower growth,” said Paul Donovan, Chief Economist at UBS Global Wealth Management.

Developing-world currencies held course against a stronger dollar.

“A (U.S.-China) trade deal has already been partially priced in, and we think market participants may remain on the sidelines before details of any trade deal are released,” Wei Liang Chang, an FX strategist at Mizuho Bank, wrote in a note.

China’s yuan gained as the government reiterated that it would maintain the yuan’s basic stability and keep it at “reasonable” level this year.

South Africa’s rand climbed 0.3 percent before economic data showed growth slowed from the third quarter, hampered by a financial crisis at state power utility Eskom.

Last month, the government announced a 69 billion rand ($4.87 billion) partial bailout for Eskom, which cut power supply to many parts of the country because it lacked generating capacity. Against this background, even surprisingly robust growth should not raise exaggerated hopes, Andreae said.

The Philippine peso slumped almost 0.9 percent, posting its worst day in nearly nine months after data showed slower inflation in February, leading talk of policy easing.

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 ($1 = 14.1700 rand) (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru;)

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