Emerging-market stocks rise for first time in four days on policy hopes

09:32, July 21, 2010      

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Emerging-market stocks rose for the first time in four days on speculation China may relax policy tightening measures and as Indian exports surged last month.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index gained 0.6 percent to 950.91 as of 3:34 pm in Singapore, halting a three-day, 1.7 percent drop. China's Shanghai Composite Index advanced 2.2 percent and the Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensitive Index rose to the highest in two-and-a-half years.

Poly Real Estate Group Co and China Vanke Co led Chinese developers higher after International Strategy & Investment Group said China may soon end its tightening policies in the housing market.

Larsen & Toubro Ltd and Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd rose in Mumbai after Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar said India's merchandise exports grew more than 30 percent for the fifth straight month in June. OAO Lukoil paced gains among Russian energy stocks after oil prices climbed.

"We're finding a lot of opportunities all over the world," said Audrey Kaplan, the New York-based lead manager of the $695 million Federated InterContinental Fund, which holds almost half its assets in emerging markets.

"We are still entering a fifth consecutive quarter of recovery. For now, we remain in the bullish camp."

Poly, China's second-largest publicly traded developer by market value, advanced 3 percent in Shanghai. Vanke, the largest, gained 0.9 percent in Shenzhen trading.

China will "back away" from its tightening policies in the housing market within three months as the economy faces a bigger risk from a slowdown than inflation, according to Donald Straszheim, senior managing director for China research at ISI. The curbs introduced in April has "totally demoralized both home buyers and developers with no promise of lasting benefits", Straszheim wrote in a note to clients.

Chinese stocks are among the world's worst performers this year, with the Shanghai Composite Index down 23 percent after the government introduced curbs ranging from a ban on third-home mortgages to higher downpayments for second homes.

Economic expansion eased to 10.3 percent in the second quarter, while property prices fell in June from the previous month, data released last week showed.

"The Chinese government has more reason to ease lending and property curbs after China showed possible signs of slower growth for the economy," said Steve Tse, a research manager of BEA Union Investment Management Ltd in Hong Kong.

In India, the benchmark Sensex index rose 0.5 percent, poised for its highest close since Feb 19, 2008. Overseas shipments, which account for about a fifth of the nation's $1.2 trillion economy, advanced 30.4 percent to $17.75 billion from a year earlier, Khullar told reporters in New Delhi.

Larsen & Toubro, India's biggest engineering company, climbed 0.9 percent and Mahindra & Mahindra, the nation's biggest maker of tractors, advanced 0.8 percent.

Russia's 30-stock Micex index increased 0.9 percent, poised for its biggest advance in a week. Oil companies Lukoil and OAO Gazprom Neft both added 0.8 percent after crude oil gained as much as 0.6 percent to $77.03 a barrel in New York.

Source:China Daily


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