Emerging stocks head for weekly gain

Emerging-market stocks rose, with the benchmark gauge set for a weekly advance, and currencies strengthened after the European Central Bank announced stimulus measures and as the U.S. released May payrolls data.

Oil & Natural Gas Corp., India’s largest state-owned oil exploration company, jumped 11 percent. Taiwanese personal computer maker Acer Inc. climbed the most since July. Turkey’s benchmark gauge headed for a one-year high. The lira, South Africa’s rand and Brazil’s real gained versus the dollar. Brazil’s Ibovespa surged 3 percent and the Micex Index increased 0.7 percent in Moscow as President Vladimir Putin met with his Ukrainian counterpart.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index added 0.8 percent to 1,043.28 at 2:14 p.m. in London, bringing this week’s increase to 1.5 percent. The ECB took its deposit rate negative, the first major central bank to do so, and offered liquidity to lenders to encourage credit growth. Employers added 217,000 jobs in May to push U.S. payrolls past their pre-recession peak.

The ECB’s steps “put more pressure on investors with nominal return targets and liabilities like pension funds to go further afield and take more risk, which is positive for EM equities,” Emad Mostaque, a London-based strategist at Noah Capital Markets, said by e-mail. The U.S. data were “solid and in line with expectations. EM is gaining as the world looks to be calming and they look optically cheap,” he said.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index has risen 4.1 percent this year and trades at 11 times projected 12-month earnings, compared with a multiple of 15.2 for the MSCI World Index of developed-country equities, which gained 4.2 percent in 2014, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

India rallies

A Bloomberg gauge tracking 20 emerging-market currencies appreciated for a second day. The premium investors demand to own developing-country debt over U.S. Treasuries fell one basis point to 266 basis points, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. indexes. All 10 of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index’s industry groups advanced, led by energy companies.

The Sensex rallied 1.5 percent, taking its jump this quarter to 13 percent amid optimism the alliance led by the Bharatiya Janata Party will spur growth in Asia’s third-largest economy. A victory at polls in May handed Modi the nation’s strongest electoral mandate in 30 years.

Oil & Natural Gas soared to a record, bringing this week’s rally to 23 percent. Reliance Industries Ltd., owner of the world’s largest refining complex, increased 3 percent to its highest level since May 23. India’s oil ministry has to decide on gas price increases by July 1, a government official told reporters in New Delhi yesterday.

‘Big positive’

The ECB lowered its deposit rate to minus 0.1 percent and the benchmark refinancing rate by 10 basis points to 0.15 percent. ECB President Mario Draghi said the central bank will begin new, “targeted” offerings of liquidity to banks to encourage them to lend money to the real economy.

“The ECB move is a big positive for emerging-market assets,” Alex Mathews, head of research at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services Ltd., said by phone from Kerala, south India.

The Borsa Istanbul 100 Index climbed 0.8 percent. The lira strengthened 0.8 percent against the dollar and 0.9 percent versus the euro.

South Africa’s rand appreciated for a third day against the single European currency, while Russia’s ruble gained 0.6 percent to 47.1010. Russian bonds maturing in February 2027 climbed for a third day, sending the yield down 12 basis points to 8.45 percent.

Putin, Poroshenko

The Micex Index rose as Putin held his first talks with Ukraine’s newly elected president, Petro Poroshenko, as France used the backdrop of D-Day commemorations to ease tensions over the separatist unrest in eastern Ukraine.

Acer jumped 6.9 percent in Taipei, taking its two-day advance to 14 percent, the most since May 2009, after announcing a partnership with MediaTek Inc. to develop wearable technologies.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index fell 0.2 percent, paring this week’s gain to 0.9 percent. BYD Co., the Chinese automaker partially owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., rose for a fifth day in Hong Kong after Deutsche Bank AG raised its rating on the stock.

The yuan traded in Hong Kong jumped the most in a week after the central bank raised the currency’s daily fixing by the most in five months.

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