EMERGING MARKETS-Stocks fall, forint hits four-week low

LONDON Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:17am EST

LONDON Dec 17 (Reuters) - Emerging stocks eased further on Monday from last week's eight-month highs, with Russian shares leading losses in emerging Europe and helping to offset a four-month high in China.

Most emerging European stocks fell, with Russia's dollar-denominated index slipping 0.4 percent, pressured by a dip in oil prices even as some mining and metals stocks gained.

Chinese mainland shares - the largest component of the broader emerging index - climbed nearly 0.5 percent to close at their highest level since mid-August. The official Xinhua news agency said on Sunday that China pledged to maintain steady economic polices in 2013, encouraging investors.

MSCI's emerging markets index slipped 0.3 percent.

Hungary's forint weakened by 0.5 percent against the euro to touch four-week lows, while the Turkish lira fell 0.3 percent against the dollar before central bank meetings in both countries on Tuesday that are expected to deliver rate cuts.

Turkish unemployment rose to average 9.1 percent in August to October from 8.8 percent in July to September, data showed on Monday, following recent weaker than expected gross domestic product data.

"(Turkish) GDP data has made the central bank a bit more dovish. They have to act to support economic growth and prevent appreciation of the currency," said Murat Toprak, EMEA strategist for HSBC. "For Hungary we are with the consensus about a 25 bps cut, for Turkey we expect cuts for all the policy rates of 25 bps."

Egyptian five-year credit default swaps rose 10 basis points to 490 bps, according to Markit, trading around 3-1/2 month highs, after President Mohamed Mursi won a 57 percent "yes" vote for the constitution in a first round of a referendum at the weekend, a margin that was less than his party had hoped for and which is likely to embolden the opposition.

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