* MSCI stocks, currency indexes eye weekly gains
* Russia’s rouble rises, Saudi riyal flat
* South African rand at one-week high
April 9 (Reuters) - Emerging-market stocks and currencies rose on Thursday, eyeing weekly gains, as a softer dollar and hopes coronavirus cases were peaking prompted some buying in risk assets.
Still, markets haven’t yet seen the full extent of the pandemic’s economic toll. U.S. jobless claims due later in the day are expected to show near-record-level unemployment in the world’s largest economy.
Social distancing rules around the globe, in response to the coronavirus, have battered business activity and led the global economy towards a deep recession.
The MSCI’s developing-world stocks index rose more than 1% for the day and was set for its best week in four years. Currencies added 0.3% for the day, headed for their best week in nearly 10 months.
Markets were also hoping a meeting of the world’s largest oil producers later in the day would lead to cuts in production. Oil prices rose in anticipation.
“Sentiment in markets continues to shift like a yo-yo, but signs that the coronavirus curve continues to flatten in the worst affected countries are very positive,” Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at financial services firm AxiCorp wrote in a note.
“Equities continue to rally and with a lot of cash on the sidelines, provided the COVID-19 data proves reliable; this move can have legs even more so if OPEC and friends formulate a credible response that puts a floor under oil price.”
Russia’s rouble rose about 0.5% on Thursday, while stocks added about 0.9%. Markets were looking to an end in the oil-price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, which caused prices to plunge last month.
The Saudi Arabian riyal was flat on the day. Stocks added about 1%.
South Africa’s rand rose to a one-week high, continuing its recovery from a record low earlier in the week. The country’s stocks added about 1.8%.
Currencies in Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic rose 0.1% to 0.7% before euro zone finance ministers meet on a joint fiscal response to curb the economic shock from the coronavirus. For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance in 2020, see tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance in 2020, see tmsnrt.rs/2OusNdX
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