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EMERGING MARKETS-Peso, yuan hit as U.S. vote stirs trade worries

* Russia’s rouble falls the least in EMEA

* South African rand leads losses despite positive data

* MSCI EM stocks index pares initial gains

* Hungarian forint falls on new COVID-19 curbs

Nov 4 (Reuters) - Mexico’s peso and China’s yuan led falls among the emerging market currencies seen as most vulnerable to four more years of a Donald Trump White House on Wednesday, as the latest voting tallies quashed bets of a clear victory for Democrat Joe Biden.

After several hours of wild swings on financial markets, a number of developing world stock indexes gained ground, but a rise for the dollar put pressure on other currencies, with South Africa’s rand falling 1.4%.

The rouble, which has drawn strength from Trump’s commitment to oil and close ties with President Vladimir Putin, was among the more resilient, down just 0.4% after rising in early trade.

The peso, a high-profile sufferer under Trump’s presidency, lost about 2.4% to the dollar, while China’s yuan , a target of U.S. trade ire for nearly three years, shed 0.5%. South Korea’s won <KRW=KFTC and the Singapore dollar both weakened.

“FX markets had ... priced for a clean Biden win,” said Chris Turner, Global Head Of Markets with Dutch bank ING in London.

“Instead, early news that Republicans had performed well in Florida and that exit polls pointed to a much closer race than had been expected have warned of a return of the Red Wave.”

Both Trump and Biden claimed they were on course for victory after results for a majority of states were called, with Trump ahead in several mid-West swing states where final counts may take days.

Emerging market currencies rose in the run-up to the election, as bets of a clear Biden victory pressured the U.S. dollar and supported expectations of more fiscal spending that will stoke growth in the world’s biggest economy.

The greenback gained about 1% on Wednesday.

“It’s still too early to make a decisive call on the overall elections, but markets appear to be paring back hopes for the so-called blue wave,” said Han Tan, Market Analyst at FXTM.

“The dollar index’s attempt to reclaim the psychologically important 94.0 handle is also indicative of the dampened expectations that the U.S. Senate will adopt an obvious blue tilt.”

For the rand the dollar move overshadowed data showing the country’s factory activity expanded for the first time in 18 months in October.

Trump’s claim on Twitter that the election was being stolen also dampened the mood, pulling back MSCI’s index of emerging market stocks after early gains.

Still, EMEA stocks held their gains, with Turkish stocks adding 1.2%, while those in South Africa rose 1%.

In central Europe, Hungary’s forint dropped 0.3% to the euro after the country outlined plans to close entertainment venues and impose a night-time curfew to try to curb the coronavirus.

Hungarian stocks added 1.5%. For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance in 2020, see tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance in 2020, 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 Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham and Barbara Lewis)

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