June 11, 2018 / 9:56 AM / 7 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Stocks skirt trade woes, bonds yields keep rising

LONDON, June 11 (Reuters) - Emerging market stocks shrugged off global trade tensions on Monday, although bond yields rose and Turkey’s lira hit turbulence again.

Despite unease after U.S. President Donald Trump raised the threat of more import tariffs at a stormy G7 meeting , it was a relatively smooth start to the week.

Most Asian currencies edged higher before Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meet for the first time on Tuesday , while a weaker dollar lifted many others.

MSCI’s 24-country emerging economy stocks index gained 0.5 percent, moving it away from last week’s year-to-date lows and as the South Korean and Indian stock markets outperformed.

TD Securities senior emerging markets strategist Paul Fage said the sector on the whole had a slightly positive tone despite the G7 “fiasco”.

Concerns focus on the outcome of negotiations between the United States, Canada and Mexico to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which Trump says harms his country.

“The dollar is a touch weaker so that is supportive but the big one for EM is what is going to happen with Mexico and NAFTA because that is going to have a head-on impact on the peso,” said Fage.

With those NAFTA doubts aggravated by the weekend G7 tensions the Mexican currency was down 0.5 percent in European trading.

Turkey’s lira also fell back 0.8 percent to 4.5 to the dollar despite data showing its economy grew a stronger-than-expected 7.4 percent year-on-year in the first quarter. In less than two weeks Turks will vote in presidential and parliamentary elections.

Separate data though showed the current account deficit widened to $5.426 billion in April, exceeding a Reuters forecast for a deficit of $5.3 billion.

Weakness in the lira has been driven by concerns about double-digit inflation and President Tayyip Erdogan’s influence on monetary policy. The central bank has raised its key interest rate by a total of 4.25 percentage points since late May.

Shanghai stocks fell for a third straight session on concerns about thinner than normal volume, touching their lowest level in just over a year.

So far this year, the Shanghai index has fallen 7.7 percent and the bluechip CSI300 is down 6.2 percent but China’s H-share index in Hong Kong is up 4.1 percent.

“We have seen a correction in the stock market for the past weeks due to concerns over liquidity conditions,” Changjiang Securities wrote in a report.

The average yield on domestic currency emerging market government bonds, which act as a rough proxy for borrowing costs , reached its highest since April last year at just over 6.5 percent.

Jordan’s Eurobonds rallied though, after Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates pledged $2.5 billion of aid to help the kingdom which has seen its biggest protests in years in recent weeks aimed at government austerity measures.

The peaceful but rare protests have prompted King Abdullah to sack the government and appoint a new prime minister, whose first pledge was to shelve steep tax increases.

For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance 2018, see tmsnrt.rs/2e7eoml For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance 2018, see tmsnrt.rs/2dZbdP5

For TOP NEWS across emerging markets

For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see

For TURKISH market report, see

For RUSSIAN market report, see) (Additional reporting by Karin Strohecker; editing by David Stamp)

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