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Stocks edge up; Polish interest rate decision eyed



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Sri Lanka expects second tranche of IMF programme on Dec. 12

Hungary's weak industry, retail data signal fragile economy

Poland central bank to stay pat on interest rates

Most EM currencies to rebound in 2024 - poll

Stocks up 0.3%, FX flat

By Johann M Cherian

Dec 6 (Reuters) -Most emerging market equities edged up on Wednesday, while investors awaited an interest rate decision in Poland and parsed data out of Hungary that highlighted the weak state of the central European economy.

Poland's zloty EURPLN= was flat against the euro ahead of an interest rate decision by the National Bank of Poland at 1300 GMT, at which economists expect borrowing costs to be held at 5.75%.

However, Vladimir Miklashevsky, chief analyst at the East Office of Finnish Industries Oy said a rate cut was possible as well as dovish statements supporting rate cuts in the near future.

"Inflation is not that big a monster we saw half a year ago and it is slowly disappearing and giving space for moderate rate cuts."

The zloty has recovered over 6% since a surprise 75 basis point rate cut in September sent the currency tumbling.

More broadly, MSCI's index tracking developing markets equities .MSCIEF edged 0.3% higher, while a basket of currencies .MIEM00000CUS was little changed.

A poll showed strategists expect most emerging market currencies will recover this year's losses and trade modestly higher against the dollar in 2024 as bets on interest rate cuts from the U.S. Federal Reserve increase.

Traders await a key U.S. jobs report on Friday that could help them gauge when the Fed could begin monetary easing.

Meanwhile, Hungary's forint EURHUF= dipped 0.2% after data showed industrial output fell more than expected in October, while calendar-adjusted retail sales dropped by an annual 6.5%, suggesting the economy remains fragile as Europe's highest inflation rate subsides.

Heavy-weight China blue-chips .CSI300 crawled up 0.2% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index .HSI added 0.8%, recovering a bit from a near five-year trough they dropped to in the previous session after ratings agency Moody's cut China's sovereign credit rating to negative.

Sri Lanka's rupee LKR= edged up 0.2% after the country's cabinet spokesperson and transport minister Bandula Gunawardane said the International Monetary Fund's second tranche of about $334 million could be released on December 12.

In Africa, Kenya's shilling KES= added 0.1% a day after the central bank unveiled a big interest rate hike by 2 percentage points to 12.5%, while Namibia's dollar NAD= was little changed after the local central bank left its policy rate unchanged at 7.75%.



Reporting by Johann M Cherian in Bengaluru; editing by Christina Fincher

For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance in 2023, see http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance in 2023, see https://tmsnrt.rs/2OusNdX

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
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