* Fed expected to cut rates by 25 basis points
* Currencies of oil importers gain on steadier crude prices
* Turkish banks fall after regulator demands loan write-offs
By Agamoni Ghosh
Sept 18 (Reuters) - Emerging-market stocks gained on Wednesday as investors looked for a U.S. Federal Reserve interest-rate decision, while a drop in oil prices lifted major oil importers.
Stocks were up 0.3%, with mainland China shares among the leaders on expectations of lower borrowing costs at home and the United States.
The People’s Bank of China left its one-year lending rate unchanged on Tuesday, but analysts expect banks to set loan prime rates lower at Friday’s monthly fixing, which would reduce borrowing costs for consumers and companies.
But the main focus was on an expected quarter-point rate cut by the Fed, which would be the second of the year and would set the tone for future monetary policy.
“We are almost certain to see a cut by the Fed today, but it will be the forward guidance to how they will decide future monetary policy that will be in focus,” said Simon Harvey, an FX market analyst at Monex.
South Korea’s Kospi and Taiwan’s TWSE stock indexes rose 0.4% to 0.6%. Apple component suppliers rallied on strong pre-orders for the latest iPhone.
Hong Kong shares lagged. Anti-government protests continued to cast a pall on investor sentiment.
Stocks were little changed in Moscow and down 0.5% in Johannesburg index.
OIL RETREAT MSCI’s emerging-market currency index rose after falling on Tuesday. Currencies of oil importers recouped their losses and moved higher as crude prices steadied.
Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said the kingdom will restore lost oil production by the end of the month, after a drone attack halved the country’s crude supply.
“It could have been worse for the oil markets, but the reaction from the Saudis has helped contain that and we see crude stabilizing now,” Harvey said.
The Indian rupee and the Indonesian rupiah rose 0.2% to 0.4%.
Turkey’s lira was up 0.3%, but stocks on the Istanbul index fell 0.4% after a Turkish regulator ordered banks to write off $8.1 billion of loans by the end of the year and set aside loss reserves.
South Africa's rand climbed 0.5% after data showed consumer inflation rose to 4.3% year-on-year in August from 4.0% in July. 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 Larry King)