* EM FX break 6-session rally; stock down for the first time in 5
* Fed to keep interest rates low, now sees as a steady recovery
* Rand slips as much as 1.3%; c.bank expected to hold rates
* Favourable to cut rates once again in S.Africa - analyst
* Indonesian rupiah off session lows after c.bank holds rates
Sept 17 (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand fell more than 1% on Thursday ahead of a central bank meeting, while an index of emerging market currencies broke a six-session rally as the dollar firmed after the U.S. Federal Reserve sounded more convinced of an economic recovery.
Edging down from seven-month highs, MSCI’s index of developing world currencies fell as much as 0.2%, while its stock counterpart lost 0.9%, down for the first time in five days.
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday vowed to keep interest rates near zero until inflation is on track to overshoot the U.S. central bank’s 2% target, and said it now sees as a steady, multi-year recovery.
But disappointing some doves, “they held off on sending a clear signal on how much above 2% inflation needs to be to trigger tightening, suggested there were no plans for additional changes to forward guidance, and did not suggest that changes to the quantitative easing program to make it more accommodative are imminent,” said strategists at TD Securities.
After technology stocks weighed on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq overnight, EM tech stocks and Asian bourses racked up the sharpest losses.
China tech stocks suffered after U.S. President Donald Trump voiced his opposition to China’s ByteDance keeping a majority stake in U.S. operations of social media platform TikTok. After hitting a fresh 16-month high in early trading, the Chinese yuan fell 0.4%.
As the dollar rose, South Africa’s rand led losses across the EM spectrum.
After 300 basis points of cuts, a majority of analysts predict South Africa’s policymakers will keep their main rate at 3.5% following a record GDP contraction and dire industrial data, while some forecast a modest rate cut of 25 basis points. The decision is due at 1300 GMT.
“The opportunity to ease monetary policy reins once again seem favourable right now,” said Commerzbank FX analyst You-Na Park-Heger. “In case of a rate cut the rand might come under temporary depreciation pressure as a step of that nature is not completely priced in.”
Russia’s rouble was flat, while Turkey’s lira plumbed new lows.
The Indonesian rupiah was down 0.1%, but climbed off session lows after the central bank kept interest rates unchanged as expected.
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