LONDON, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Russia’s rouble fell sharply to a new record low on Thursday, following the latest slide in oil prices, and selling pressure remained firmly on emerging market stocks already suffering their worst start to a year.
The benchmark emerging equity index was down 0.7 percent to fresh six-and-a-half year lows, led lower by Chinese mainland stocks and Russian shares , with dollar-denominated stocks touching a 13-month low.
The rouble plunged through 83 to the dollar for the first time on record in early Moscow trading and didn’t stop until it had gone past, weakening 4.4 percent on the day.
“I wouldn’t say it was panic, but the way we described it was that it has been a brutal repricing,” said Joseph Dayan, head of markets for Russia broker BCS global markets in London.
The breakneck pace of the fall sent tremors across emerging markets, especially ex-Soviet states.
Neighbouring oil producer Kazakhstan’s tenge slumped around 3 percent to its own all-time low, and Belarus’s rouble hit a record trough against the dollar as it tumbled 5.5 percent.
In central Europe, Poland’s zloty also hit a fresh four-year low against the euro, with it still being hit by concerns about the actions of the new conservative government, which had triggered a surprise downgrade of Poland’s credit rating by Standard & Poor’s last Friday.
Amongst the few bright spots, Hong Kong’s dollar rebounded from Wednesday’s over eight-year low, but the stock market lost almost 2 percent to plumb levels not seen since August 2012.
Chinese stocks took another 3 percent hammering though to send Asia shares more broadly to their latest 4-year lows.
Investors have been dumping risky assets all month as Brent crude has sold off to 2003 lows, with Iranian barrels returning to an already over-supplied global market and persistent worries about Chinese demand.
As well as the sell off in currencies and stocks, EM dollar-bond spreads over safe-haven U.S. treasuries have blown out to 514 basis points (bps), the highest in almost seven years.
“As long as volatility remains heightened, oil prices keep falling, and China concerns remain in place, there is no space for emerging market assets to rally and they will be quite fortunate if they don’t sell off more,” said Cristian Maggio, head of EM strategy at TD Securities.
The Washington-based Institute of International Finance (IIF) is forecasting net capital outflows of $448 billion in 2016, after $735 billion was withdrawn from emerging markets in 2015.
For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance 2016, see link.reuters.com/jus35t
For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance 2016, see link.reuters.com/weh36s
For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging Europe performance 2016, see link.reuters.com/jun28s
For GRAPHIC on MSCI frontier index performance 2016, see link.reuters.com/zyh97s
For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see
For TURKISH market report, see
For RUSSIAN market report, see ) (Additional reporting by Marc Jones Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)
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