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EMERGING MARKETS-Hungary's forint, stocks knocked by energy worries

·3 min read

* Ukraine suspends Russian oil flows to southern Europe * Argentina industrial output up 6.9% in June vs a year ago * Brazilian consumer prices drop sharply in July after tax cuts (Updates prices) By Susan Mathew Aug 9 (Reuters) - Hungary's forint dropped 0.6% against the euro and Budapest-listed stocks tumbled 3% on Tuesday hit by oil supply worries, while most other emerging market currencies made muted moves against a weaker dollar ahead of an inflation test. Ukraine has suspended Russian oil flows to southern Europe since early this month because Western sanctions prevented it from receiving transit fees from Moscow, Russia's pipeline monopoly Transneft said on Tuesday. Russia normally supplies about 250,000 barrels per day via the southern leg of the Druzhba pipeline to Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The forint tracked its worst session in a month, while the Czech crown, which has been supported recently by central bank interventions, was little changed. The main stock index in Hungary was on course for its worst session in over three months, with energy group MOL down 4.2%. "Even if this is resolved within days or a few weeks, it confirms or reiterates that central and eastern European countries will have a very difficult winter because of problems on the energy side," said Marek Drimal, lead CEEMEA strategist at Societe Generale. "Even if there are no massive problems with deliveries, energy prices are elevated and that will most likely impact production and purchasing power, and by extension widen current account deficits in CEE and be a fundamental drag on CEE FX performance," he said, expecting the forint to underperform into the year-end. Other emerging market currencies made small moves, ahead of U.S. inflation figures for July due on Wednesday. The headline number is seen dropping, but the Federal Reserve is seen staying hawkish, with investors pricing in another 75 basis points hike in September. Mexico's peso was down 0.1%, while Brazil's real gave up early session gains to trade 0.4% lower. Mexican annual inflation hit 22-year highs in July, rising faster than expected and fuelling expectations that the central bank will raise the country's benchmark interest later this week. "We forecast that inflation will only return to (the central bank's) 2%-4% target range by late-2023 at the earliest," said Jason Tuvey, senior emerging markets economist at Capital Economics, expecting the rate to end the year at 10%. In Brazil, consumer prices fell more than expected in July, with the benchmark index recording its largest monthly drop ever, in the wake of a string of tax cuts and rate hikes. Meanwhile, Argentina's industrial output grew 6.9% in June from a year ago in non-seasonally adjusted terms. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1945 GMT: Stock indexes Latest Daily % change MSCI Emerging Markets 1001.24 -0.05 MSCI LatAm 2207.65 0.13 Brazil Bovespa 108670.71 0.25 Mexico IPC 47254.06 -0.21 Chile IPSA 5240.01 -0.39 Argentina MerVal 122036.56 -1.546 Colombia COLCAP 1322.45 -0.8 Currencies Latest Daily % change Brazil real 5.1316 -0.37 Mexico peso 20.2636 -0.09 Chile peso 903.9 0.15 Colombia peso 4344.13 -0.86 Peru sol 3.9175 -0.15 Argentina peso 133.8300 -0.19 (interbank) Argentina peso 288 1.39 (parallel) (Reporting by Susan Mathew and Anisha Sircar in Bengaluru; Editing by Susan Fenton and Alistair Bell)