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EM stocks dip, rand bucks FX gloom

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Rand among top performing FX this month

Ghana, bondholders reach debt agreement

Mexican peso firms as Sheinbaum picks cabinet members

By Sruthi Shankar

June 21 (Reuters) -Most emerging market currencies and stocks slipped on Friday as the dollar firmed on bets that interest rates in the U.S. will stay higher for longer compared to other economies, though the South African rand continued to hit fresh multi-month highs.

The rand ZAR=D3 rose to 17.8800 against the dollar, resuming its climb from earlier this week as investors focussed on President Cyril Ramaphosa's imminent cabinet appointments under a new unity government.

The MSCI EM currencies index .MIEM00000CUS dipped and its equities counterpart .MSCIEF fell 0.8%, ahead of U.S. business surveys later in the day, which could offer clues on whether the world's largest economy remains strong enough to withstand high interest rates.

An AI-inspired rally still helped put the EM equities index on course for its fifth straight month of gains, its first such winning run since October 2020-February 2021.

In Kenya, one person was killed and at least 200 people were injured in Thursday's nationwide protests against the government's plans to raise $2.7 billion in additional taxes, an alliance of rights groups and the police watchdog said.

Protesters want the government to completely abandon its finance bill, but the International Monetary Fund has said the government needs to increase revenues to reduce the budget deficit and state borrowing.

"We're yet to see any negativity priced into the Kenyan market," said Charlie Bird, an FX trader at Verto.

"While fiscal reform may not have been well-received by the general public, institutional players have been very positive about the new inflows that President Ruto has been able to encourage."

Ghana reached an agreement in principle with its bondholders for the restructuring of $13 billion worth of international debt, three sources told Reuters, on the heels of a deal finalised with official creditors.

The deal will see bondholders take a haircut on principal of up to 37% and maturity lengthened, as per sources.

Meanwhile, the Mexican peso MXN=D3 firmed to 18.3090 per dollar after President-elect Claudia Sheinbaum on Thursday named six members of her incoming cabinet, including business-friendly Marcelo Ebrard as economy minister, putting him in charge of trade negotiations.

The currency touched a one-week high of 18.2550 after the announcement on Thursday.

Debt issuances in Brazil, Peru and other Latin American countries helped lift overall EM debt sales to $12.4 billion in the latest week, from just $1.6 billion last week, Morgan Stanley said in a report.


** Investors believe Turkey stands out positively among emerging markets, source says

** India business activity grew faster in June, job creation at 18-year high, PMI shows

** JPMorgan wealth head sees China's economic outlook improving

For TOP NEWS across emerging markets nTOPEMRG

For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see CEE/

For TURKISH market report, see .IS

For RUSSIAN market report, see RU/RUB

For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance in 2024 http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance in 2024 https://tmsnrt.rs/2OusNdX

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli


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