June 28, 2019 / 9:13 AM / 24 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Stocks set for best month since January; currencies gain

* MSCI EM stocks index set for best monthly performance since Jan.

* Shanghai Composite stocks drop 0.6%, local blue-chips fall 0.2%

* Russian rouble treads water, stocks rise

* Trump-Xi meeting at G-20 summit eyed

By Aaron Saldanha

June 28 (Reuters) - Emerging-market stocks remained on course on Friday for their best monthly performance since January, although risk appetite was kept in check by doubts the United States and China would make progress in resolving their trade war.

Developing-world currencies rose against the dollar, with China’s yuan gaining ground.

U.S. President Donald Trump said he had not promised Chinese President Xi Jinping a six-month reprieve from tariffs, fuelling doubts among investors that much would be achieved at their meeting during the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, this weekend.

MSCI’s developing-world stocks index gained, although it was held back by Chinese shares. The Shanghai Composite index fell 0.6% and the blue-chip CSI300 index dipped 0.2%.

The MSCI index looks set to rise 5.7% in June, its best monthly showing since it gained 8.7% in January.

Taiwanese equities fell 0.4% on the day. South Korean stocks dropped 0.2%, hurt by pessimism over global trade.

“There is no correct amount of caution going into the Xi-Trump meeting at the Osaka G20 Summit on June 29,” DBS Chief Economist Taimur Baig and Economist Radhika Rao wrote in a note. “For the Chinese yuan, the Xi-Trump meeting is a binary event.”

The yuan rose 0.1%, while MSCI’s emerging-market currencies index gained 0.3%.

Turkey’s lira was up 0.2% and Turkish stocks rose 0.3%. Data showed a smaller Turkish trade deficit for May, year-on-year, at about $1.84 billion.

A day earlier, prices of Turkey’s dollar-denominated bonds had risen after inflows into local assets surged to their highest level since early February.

Russia’s rouble was little changed. Moscow-traded stocks advanced 0.2%, aided by a 0.7% rise in Gazprom’s stock.

Russia’s biggest bank, Sberbank, fell 0.3% but was on course for a fourth straight monthly gain, up 2.5% in June.

“Sberbank is an excellent bank - it has also become fortress-like, but problem is it’s in Russia, so you’ve got both oil and political risk and the economy has not been doing so well,” Kokkie Kooyman, director and portfolio manager, global financials, at Denker Capital told the Reuters Global Markets Forum on Thursday.

South Africa’s rand strengthened 0.4% , gaining for a third straight session. South African stocks rose 0.3%.

Emerging European currencies traded in narrow ranges against the euro, with Poland’s zloty up and Hungary’s forint little changed.

For TOP NEWS across emerging markets

For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see

For TURKISH market report, see

For RUSSIAN market report, see

Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru

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