Stocks, FX hit by hawkish Fed bets; Geopolitics in focus



* MSCI EM stocks index down 0.9% this week

* Russian rouble inches lower ahead of key Moscow-U.S. talks

* Moe monetary policy in China may be coming - sources

By Susan Mathew

Jan 21 (Reuters) - Emerging market stocks slumped on Friday as a sell-off on Wall Street overnight and worries about policy tightening by major central banks sapped risk appetite, while Russia's rouble made small moves ahead of talks with the United States over Ukraine.

The U.S. Federal Reserve's policy stance will be the main sentiment driver next week with markets pricing in a faster pace of hikes to control inflation.

This pushed MSCI's index of EM currencies .MIEM00000CUS down 0.1%, while shares .MSCIEF down 0.8%, and 0.9% on the week.

"We think quantitative tightening by the (Fed) will mean weaker emerging-market FX against the USD, but at a gradual pace. As a result, we expect EM central banks to tighten rates at their own pace rather than speed up," EM strategists at BNP Paribas said in a note.

Wall Street indexes ended sharply lower on Thursday with Nasdaq in correction territory on disappointing earnings including Netflix NFLX.O . Nasdaq futures NQc1 were still in the red on Friday.

While most emerging market central banks have adopted hawkish stances to curb inflation rise, China has eased monetary policy to spur economic growth. More easing may be coming on Friday, sources told Reuters.

Emerging market equity funds enjoyed their biggest inflows since March 2021 at $5.2 billion in the week to Wednesday, while China stocks raked in $3.5 billion, BofA's weekly flow show report showed.

Developing market debt funds suffered their biggest weekly outflows since October at $2.2 billion.

Top diplomats of Russia and the United States are set to meet in Geneva on Friday to discuss soaring tensions over Ukraine after a flurry of meetings in the last week produced no breakthroughs.

The U.S. predicts Moscow will make a move on Ukraine and has readied sanctions to be imposed in case of an invasion, as has the European Union.

Russia's rouble RUB= firmed 0.2%, but is down 2% since the start of the year, while Ukraine's hryvnia UAH= is down nearly 4% since start of the year.

Bonds have borne the brunt of the pressure with both Ukraine and Russia hard currency bonds racking up negative returns of more than 7% year-to-date on the JP Morgan EM bonds index. RU000A0JXU22=TE XS1577952952=TE

Turkey's troubled lira TRY= which got a brief boost on Thursday from the central bank keeping the key rate unchanged after a series of cuts, was down 0.4% on Thursday.

South Africa's rand ZAR= rose 0.2%, inching closer to Thursday's over two-month highs, as rising inflation data this week increased bets that the central bank will hike interest rates next week.

For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance in 2021, see Link For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance in 2021, see Link

For TOP NEWS across emerging markets

For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see

For TURKISH market report, see

For RUSSIAN market report, see



Ukraine, Russia bonds feeling the heat Link



Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru;
Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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