EMERGING MARKETS-Currencies rise on U.S. shutdown, PMI data

October 1, 2013

LONDON, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Emerging European currencies rose against the dollar on Tuesday after strong strong local manufacturing data and the first U.S. government shutdown in 17 years.

U.S. Federal government agencies have been directed to cut back services after lawmakers failed to pass a temporary spending bill before a midnight deadline. The impasse has caused broad dollar weakness.

By contrast, in central Europe purchasing managers' indices showed manufacturing strengthening. Poland's PMI showed manufacturing grew at its fastest pace in 2-1/2 years in September and Hungary's PMI also jumped.

"Markets were looking at PMIs from eastern Europe and most of them just continued their upward trend, basically confirming the relatively rosy picture in central and Eastern Europe," said Thu Lan Nguyen, emerging markets strategist at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

The forint hit an 11-day high against the euro after data showing Hungary's seasonally-adjusted PMI rose to 54.5 in Sept from a revised 51.8 in August, topping the average of the past three years and also the long-term average. The zloty was steady before a rate decision on Wednesday, expected to leave rates unchanged.

The Romanian leu tested the previous day's 11-day highs against the euro after the central bank cut rates by 25 bps on Monday to 4.25 percent, as expected.

The South African rand gained 0.4 percent and the Turkish lira rose 0.25 percent against the dollar. The U.S. government shutdown is seen increasing the likelihood that the Federal Reserve will keep its bond-buying programme intact this month.

The rouble also rose 0.3 percent against the dollar, though Russia's central bank moved its rouble corridor by 5 kopecks, to allow for a slight weakening in the currency against its euro-dollar basket.

Emerging sovereign debt spreads widened 6 basis points to 355 bps over U.S. Treasuries.

The MSCI emerging equities index rose half a percent, however, after hitting 2-1/2 week lows on Monday. Chinese markets were shut for a holiday.

Emerging stocks rose 5 percent in the third quarter, as markets grew accustomed to the idea of an expected withdrawal of U.S. monetary stimulus. But stocks are still down 6 percent on the year, compared with 15 percent gains in developed markets.




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