Emerging stock volatility drops
London - Price swings on the MSCI Emerging Markets Index fell to an all-time low during Lunar New Year holidays in Asia. Turkish stocks were among decliners in Europe, leading the benchmark equity gauge lower.
Akbank TAS, a Turkish lender part-owned by Citigroup Inc., headed for the lowest close since December 21 after Yapi & Kredi Bankasi AS cut the stock to underperform.
OAO Severstal, a Russian steelmaker, dropped to this year’s low after an explosion at one of its coal mines.
PT United Tractors gained the most in almost six weeks in Jakarta on speculation the company may sustain a recovery in sales as Indonesia’s main index climbed to a record.
About as many stocks advanced as declined in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, which fell 0.1 percent to 1,059.53 by 1:10 p.m. in London.
The gauge’s 100-day volatility was at 8.8, the lowest level on record, according to data compiled by Bloomberg dating back to 2003.
European finance chiefs meet in Brussels today to discuss aid to Cyprus and Greece amid a tightening election contest in Italy and a political scandal in Spain.
“Most markets in the region should be very quiet early this week with several major bourses being closed,” Porranee Thongyen, the head of research at Asia Plus Securities Pcl in Bangkok, said by phone today.
“There is some caution before the meeting of European finance ministers.”
Markets in China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and Malaysia are shut for holidays today.
Brazil’s market is closed for Carnival.
Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite Index rose 0.3 percent to the highest level since at least April 1983.
Russia’s Micex Index gained 0.2 percent, snapping a three- day losing streak.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund will seek to buy as much as $100 million of stock in the Moscow Exchange’s initial public offering, according to a person with knowledge of the Kremlin-backed private-equity fund’s plan, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.
Poland’s WIG 20 added 0.4 percent, gaining for a third day, the longest winning streak since January 21.
The benchmark indexes in Hungary and the Czech Republic added at least 0.3 percent. Dubai’s DFM General Index lost 0.1 percent, after climbing as much as 1 percent.
Akbank and Turkiye Garanti Bankasi AS dragged Turkey’s ISE National 100 Index 0.6 percent lower. India’s Sensex slid 0.1 percent, falling for an eight day, the longest losing streak since November 2011, amid economic growth and corporate earnings concerns.
The rupee touched the lowest level in two weeks on speculation capital inflows have slowed.
Trading volumes on the Jakarta gauge were 26 percent below the 30-day average, Micex trading was 21 percent less than average and the volume in Warsaw was 46 percent below average.
President Hugo Chavez, who is recovering from cancer surgery in Havana, ordered his government to weaken the exchange rate by 32 percent to 6.3 bolivars per dollar starting February 13, Finance Minister Jorge Giordani told reporters February 8.
Consumer companies Arcos Dorados Holdings Inc., Coca-Cola Femsa SAB, Grupo Nutresa SA, industrial companies Masisa SA and Copa Holdings SA and MercadoLibre Inc., operator of an online trading site, have “significant exposure to Venezuela,” Morgan Stanley said in an e-mailed report today.
The Czech koruna slid less than 0.1 percent versus the euro, after its best weekly gain in 14 months, as slower-than- expected inflation renewed speculation the central bank may weaken the currency.
The statistics office in Prague said today the consumer-price index grew at the slowest pace in 16 months in January, missing analyst estimates.
Last week, the koruna rallied 1.8 percent after Governor Miroslav Singer signaled the need to sell the currency to ease monetary conditions is “less urgent.”
South Korea’s won strengthened 0.3 percent versus the dollar in offshore trading. Indonesia’s rupiah rose to the highest in almost three weeks on optimism the central bank’s efforts to set an onshore fixing for its derivative contracts will stabilize the currency and bolster demand for local assets.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index has added 0.4 percent this year, trailing a 5.2 percent increase by the MSCI World Index. The emerging-markets index trades at 10.3 times estimated profit, compared with the MSCI World’s 13.7 times, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Severstal fell 1.9 percent, heading for the lowest close since December 17 in Moscow, after at least 10 coalminers died in an explosion in Russia’s northern Komi region.
The blast may have been caused by a build-up of methane at a deposit owned by the steelmaker, according to the Emergency Ministry.
Akbank fell 1.8 percent in Istanbul after Yapi Kredi cut its stock recommendation to underperform from hold and lowered the price target to 8.3 liras per share from 8.48 liras, according to an e-mailed report. Garanti Bank slid 1.4 percent.
Tofas Turk Otomobil Fabrikasi AS, the Turkish unit of Fiat SpA in partnership with Koc Holding AS, rose 2.4 percent in Istanbul, heading for the biggest gain since January 24.
Chief Executive Officer Kamil Basaran said on February 10 the company will disclose in July details about plans to develop two new subcompact models.
HSBC Holdings Plc raised Tofas to overweight from neutral.
Mol Nyrt., Hungary’s biggest refiner, rebounded from its steepest slump in more than 15 months, leading a rally in Hungarian stocks. Mol traded 0.3 percent higher after dropping 5 percent on February 8 after Dana Gas PJSC sold 1.675 million shares in the refiner to help refinance its Sukuk debt.
The transaction, which Bloomberg News first reported on February 7, was confirmed by Dana in a statement yesterday.
Air Arabia PJSC rose 3.3 percent to the highest level since May 2010 in Dubai on bets improved full-year profit may prompt the Middle East’s biggest no-frills airline to pay a bigger dividend.
Gold Fields slumped 0.4 percent in Johannesburg, as it spun off mining assets into Sibanye Gold, which is set to start trading in New York City today.
Gold Fields on November 29 said it would place its deeper, more labor-intensive South African mines into Sibanye.
United Tractors rose 3.6 percent in Jakarta, the most in MSCI’s developing-nations gauge.
The company may maintain a rebound in heavy-equipment sales after reporting its January figures, according to Pandu Anugrah, analyst at Maybank Kim Eng Securities in Jakarta.
Those sales surged 96 percent last month from December, Investor Daily Indonesia reported February 8.
PT XL Axiata, an Indonesian mobile-phone operator, added 3.7 percent after the same newspaper reported the company will refinance 4.5 trillion rupiah ($468 million) of debt this year.
A gauge of health-care companies in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index climbed 0.3 percent, the most among 10 industry groups.
Cipla jumped 3.8 percent in Mumbai after the stock slumped 8.1 percent last week.
Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. gained 2.3 percent after a five-day drop dragged it to a five- week low.
The extra yield investors demand to own emerging-market debt over US Treasuries slipped one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 271 basis points, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s EMBI Global Index. - Bloomberg