July 31, 2018 / 9:15 AM / 22 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-China data, tech stock rout weigh on emerging markets

* China’s yuan set for fourth straight month of losses

* China July manufacturing growth slows on trade conflict

* Turkey lira slips, cen bank ups 2018 inflation forecast to 13.4%

By Karin Strohecker

LONDON, July 31 (Reuters) - Disappointing Chinese data and the global tech stock rout took their toll on emerging markets on Tuesday prompting stocks to extend falls and currencies to soften with Turkey’s lira chalking up some of the steepest losses.

Emerging IT and tech stocks fell nearly 1 percent in their fourth day in the red to their lowest level in nearly three weeks following hefty falls in the sector across developed markets.

The decline weighed on the wider index, with MSCI’s emerging markets benchmark slipping 0.4 percent. However, the index is on track for a small monthly gain after clocking up losses for the past five months.

Meanwhile data showing growth in China’s manufacturing sector slowed more than expected in July thanks to the worsening trade dispute with Washington, bad weather and weaker domestic demand added to the sombre mood.

“The latest survey data suggest that a weaker renminbi is helping to dampen the impact of U.S. tariffs but that domestic headwinds continued to weigh on economic activity in July,” Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist wrote in a note to clients.

Solid growth in the world’s second largest economy has helped underpin a recent broad based economic expansion across emerging markets.

The data also added to pressure on China’s currency, which eased slightly against the U.S. dollar, putting the yuan on track for a near 3 percent loss in July in its fourth straight month of weakening – the longest such losing streak since 2015.

Currencies elsewhere fared little better despite the dollar treading water. Turkey’s lira was the top underperformer, weakening 0.7 percent against the dollar after the country’s central bank sharply raised its 2018 inflation forecast to 13.4 percent from 8.4 percent previously.

Markets seemed to find little reassurance from comments by central bank governor Murat Cetinkaya that second-quarter data suggested that Turkey’s economic activity was decelerating and had started rebalancing, and pledging the body’s independence.

“Not sure he could say anything else,” said Tim Ash at BlueBay Asset Management.

The country has been haunted by stubbornly high inflation and a currency in freefall despite emergency rate hikes. The lira has tumbled nearly 7 percent in July – its sixth straight month in the red.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s rupee weakened nearly one percent following a 5 percent jump on Monday following media reports that China was providing a $2 billion loan to the cash strapped country.

Monday’s gains brought the first significant strengthening in years for the rupee, which had weakened more than 20 percent since December after four separate devaluations by the central bank.

Mexico's peso, South Africa's rand and Russia's rouble all weakened 0.1-0.2 percent. For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance 2018, see tmsnrt.rs/2e7eoml For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance 2018, see tmsnrt.rs/2dZbdP5

For TOP NEWS across emerging markets

For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see

For TURKISH market report, see

For RUSSIAN market report, see (Reporting by Karin Strohecker Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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