Economic news

EM-Rouble up in Political Risk-Filled Week

* Biden-Putin meet to start at 1100 GMT

* Lira perks up after two bruising days

* Other EM FX muted ahead of Fed

* MSCI EM stocks index set for worst session in 4 weeks

June 16 (Reuters) - Russia’s rouble snapped a four-day losing streak on Wednesday, boosted by higher oil prices and hopes that an upcoming meeting between the Russian and U.S. presidents could help improve severely strained ties between the two nations.

The currency was up 0.2%, just before an 1100 GMT meeting of U.S. President Joe Biden with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Geneva. They are expected to discuss arms control, cyber-hacking and election interference and then hold separate news conferences.

“We think it likely that we will receive a number of constructive headlines in terms of a friendlier framework for future discussion,” said Commerzbank analyst Tatha Ghose said.

Biden’s meeting earlier this week with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan failed to generate any positive breakthroughs, but Ghose said the stakes were higher for Wednesday’s meeting because the risk premium on Russian assets was down primarily to U.S. sanctions and the potential for more.

“The risk scenario would be a breakdown in talks, in which case those same sanctions would soon re-invoked, along with other new sanctions,” Ghose added.

Geopolitics weighed on emerging markets more broadly too - MSCI’s emerging equity index was headed for its worst session in a month, led by a sharp drop in Chinese shares.

China’s blue-chips index marked its worst session in two months, having lost 3.5% over the last three days due to increasing tensions with the West over human rights, Hong Kong’s autonomy and the origin of the coronavirus pandemic.

But Turkey’s lira which lost more than 2% over the last two sessions after the disappointing Biden-Erdogan meeting, firmed 0.6%. The central bank’s Thursday meeting is expected to keep interest rates at 19%, pushing cuts to the fourth quarter.

Other emerging market currencies was flat marked time ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy decision due at 1800 GMT, followed by Chair Jerome Powell’s news conference..

Fed officials are expected to at least flag the pending start of talks about exiting ultra-accommodative crisis-era policies. Hawkish signals could strengthen the dollar, hurting emerging markets.

Fed uncertainty, geopolitics and election-linked volatility in Latin American countries such as Peru have pushed up emerging currencies’ implied volatility - a gauge of expected swings in an asset’s price.

Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Alex Richardson

Source: Reuters

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