Bonds News

Investors pull $5.5 bln out of emerging markets in last week -IIF

NEW YORK, June 19 (Reuters) - Foreign investors have pulled about $5.5 billion out of emerging market economies since the U.S. Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike last week, data from the Institute of International Finance showed on Tuesday.

Outflows from emerging market equities totaled about $4.2 billion since the Fed’s policy meeting, while some $1.3 billion came out of bonds.

Foreign investors sold more than $320 million of Chinese stocks on Tuesday, the first daily net selling by foreigners since May 4, IIF said.

China had remained resilient amid steep outflows from emerging markets, but “concern about the impact of additional U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports (has) prompted a sharp reversal in flows to China,” the IIF said in a statement.

China accused the United States of “extreme pressure and blackmailing” and vowed to retaliate after Trump on Monday threatened to slap a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods in addition to the import duties previously announced on $50 billion in goods.

Emerging market outflows over the last week were concentrated in Asia, IIF said, signaling increased concern over the U.S.-China trade dispute.

Emerging market economies have been in focus since mid April after an unexpected jump in the U.S. dollar while expectations for higher U.S. interest rates has driven money flows away from emerging markets since mid April.

The steep sell-off in China, where the local stock index fell 3.8 percent on Tuesday, dragged the MSCI emerging markets index to its lowest level since October.

Both indexes peaked so far in 2018 in late January and have dropped 14 percent or more since.

Bargain hunters had stepped up to grab emerging market assets in early June after foreigners dumped a combined $12.3 billion of bonds and stocks in May, IIF said.

The Fed on Wednesday raised its benchmark overnight lending rate a quarter of a percentage point to a range of 1.75 percent to 2 percent, and dropped its pledge to keep rates low enough to stimulate the economy “for some time.” (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos Editing by Tom Brown)