Stocks hit lowest in 5 weeks, currencies a touch softer



* MSCI EM stocks index headed for worst month in 2 years

* Colombia elects former guerrilla as first leftist president

* Turkish lira range bound, S.African rand reverses course

By Shreyashi Sanyal

June 20 (Reuters) - Emerging market stocks touched their lowest in more than five weeks on Monday, while currencies struggled for direction on lingering worries about aggressive monetary tightening tipping the world into a recession.

The MSCI's index for emerging market equities .MSCIEF fell 0.4%, down for the third straight session, with Asian regions leading the declines.

Higher rates in the developed world negatively impact emerging market assets, especially with a strengthening U.S. dollar that would make it harder for to pay back debt.

U.S. Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell will likely maintain his hawkish tone when he updates U.S. Congress members on the central bank's inflation fight later in the week. The Fed last week raised interest rates by 75 basis points, in its biggest increase in nearly three decades.

EM stocks have lost over 18% so far in 2022, and with the 7.2% drop this month, it is shaping up to be to the worst performance in more than two years.

Currencies were range bound in the developing world, the MSCI's index .MIEM00000CUS was flat by 0855 GMT.

The Turkish lira TRY= traded in a narrow range TRYUSD=R , already down over 23% for the year against the backdrop of sky-high inflation and low interest rates.

"Turkey's inflation-FX spiral further unfolds, we warn about significant USD-TRY overshooting, which will likely attract sudden announcements and ad hoc intervention by policymakers," said Tatha Ghose, FX and emerging markets analyst at Commerzbank.

Leftist Gustavo Petro, a former member of the M-19 guerrilla movement, won Colombia's presidency on Sunday, the first progressive to do so in the country's history. All eyes will be on the peso COP= when it starts trading later in the day.

South Africa's rand ZAR= slipped 0.3% against the dollar, reversing earlier gains. Russia's rouble RUBUTSTN=MCX steadied near multi-year peaks, supported by capital controls, and may continue firming later this month due to month-end tax payments.

For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance in 2022, see Link For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance in 2022, see Link

For TOP NEWS across emerging markets

For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see

For TURKISH market report, see

For RUSSIAN market report, see
Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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