Emerging-market stocks fell the most in seven months, erasing 2013 gains after Federal Reserve minutes sparked concern the U.S. may curtail stimulus and declining commodity prices dragged producers lower.
United Co. Rusal, the world’s biggest aluminum producer, slumped to a 3 1/2-month low in Moscow. New World Resources Plc, the largest Czech coking-coal producer, dropped the most in three weeks after its net loss was more than analysts estimated. Belle International Holdings Ltd., a women’s footwear maker, plunged the most on record in Hong Kong after saying profit will be at the lower end of analysts’ estimates.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index slid 1.4% to 1,053.21 at 2:10 p.m. in London, the most since July 23. Several Federal Reserve policy makers said the central bank should be ready to vary the pace of its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases, according to minutes of a meeting released yesterday. A report today showed euro-area services and factory output contracted. The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of 24 raw materials fell to a one-month low.
“Easing the U.S. stimulus will siphon away some of the liquidity and that’s affecting investors’ sentiment because it’s this liquidity that fueled the rally in emerging stocks,” Allan Yu, who helps manage about $11 billion at Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., said by phone from Manila.
The 21 countries in the developing-nations gauge send about 17% of their exports to the U.S. and 26% to the European Union on average, data compiled by the World Trade Organization show.
Emerging-market stocks may enter a more “significant correction” after underperforming developed-nation shares this year, according to JPMorgan & Chase Co.
“Fundamentals and technicals are weakening,” JPMorgan strategists led by Adrian Mowat wrote in a report yesterday.
Materials, telecom services and energy stocks led declines this year among 10 industry groups in the MSCI gauge, retreating at least 3.1%, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Telekomunikacja Polska SA, Poland’s largest phone company and the worst-performer in the emerging-markets gauge, fell 45% in 2013 after the company cut its dividend proposal as fourth-quarter revenue slumped.
Russia’s Micex Index fell 1.2% today, heading for the lowest close this year. Rusal slid 3.2% and OAO Mechel, billionaire Igor Zyuzin’s mining company, lost 2.9%. OAO Gazprom, the country’s biggest natural gas producer, lost 1%.
Oil slid 1.3% in New York, while nickel, copper and zinc led industrial metals lower in London.