* Lira at record low of 7.9389 to the dollar
* Hungarian forint gains as inflation nears target range
* MSCI EM stocks index rises to more than two-week high
Oct 8 (Reuters) - Turkey’s lira hit a record low for the second straight session on Thursday, while other emerging market stocks and currencies rose on the prospect of individual COVID-19 relief measures in the United States.
The lira sank 0.7% to an all-time low of 7.9389 to the dollar, weighed by concerns over possible U.S. sanctions, the Caucasus conflict and uneasy ties with the European Union.
While the Turkish central bank is expected to step in and support the lira, doubts persist over the scale of intervention the bank will be able to provide, given that it has already been burning through its reserves to prop up the currency.
South Africa’s rand and Russia’s rouble were slightly stronger to the dollar, while Hungary’s forint strengthened about 0.3% to the euro after September inflation data came in closer to the central bank’s target.
The MSCI’s index of developing world stocks rose about 0.6% to its highest in more than two weeks. A bulk of gains came from strength in Taiwan and Indian stocks.
U.S. stocks had ended higher on Wednesday after President Donald Trump later that day urged Congress to pass a series of smaller, standalone stimulus bills.
“It is becoming more evident that fiscal stimulus remains the top priority for markets. Few doubt that a new package is coming but the timing is the most critical aspect,” Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM, wrote in a note.
While most emerging markets have staged a steady recovery from pandemic-driven lows, they have turned to cues from the U.S. economy for direction over the past few months.
Volatility is expected to rise in the run-up to the U.S. presidential election.
In other markets, Kyrgyz businesses warned of economic damage as the parliament failed to gather a quorum in an overnight session, leaving a power vacuum in the Central Asian nation as rival groups sought to claim power after ousting the cabinet.
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For RUSSIAN market report, see (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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