February 5, 2020 / 9:26 AM / 17 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-EM assets continue recovery but caution still remains

* EM stocks rise for second straight day

* Markets cautious about rising death toll from virus

* Russian finance ministry to cut daily FX purchases in Feb

By Shreyashi Sanyal

Feb 5 (Reuters) - Developing world assets continued to recover for the second straight session on Wednesday, as investors took comfort from China’s efforts to limit the damage from a deadly virus outbreak but caution prevailed as the death toll continued to rise.

MSCI’s index for emerging market stocks rose 0.6% after a strong end to the previous session. The index had lost more than 6% in eight consecutive days of trading on fears the coronavirus outbreak could impact the global economy.

The death toll from the fast-spreading virus rose to nearly 500 as of Wednesday.

“Markets are still cautious but perhaps this small move is on the back of a really strong rally yesterday. Overall, there isn’t much going on today,” said Izidor Flajšman, emerging markets associate at TD Securities.

Analysts have also pointed out that the impact will be temporary, as China has vowed to use monetary policy tools to ease the hit on the economy.

The People’s Bank of China said on Tuesday that its huge liquidity injections through open market operations this week showed its determination to stabilise financial market expectations and restore confidence.

“It is unlikely to take much longer before even the final investor has extrapolated the falling infection rate and comes to the conclusion that the turning point in the number of infected will soon be reached,” analysts at Commerzbank wrote in a note.

Among currencies, Russia’s rouble firmed on Wednesday. The country’s finance ministry said it would buy 11.3 billion roubles ($180 million) worth of foreign currency a day between Feb. 7 and March 5, down from 18.2 billion roubles a day in the previous period.

Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) showed Russia’s service sector expanded for the seventh month running in January thanks to greater foreign client demand and a robust expansion in new orders.

In South Africa, a survey showed activity in the private sector shrank for the ninth consecutive month in January albeit at a slower pace, as weak demand, lack of investment and power cuts weighed on output and new orders.

The currency of Africa’s most industrialized economy edged higher.

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

For TOP NEWS across emerging markets

For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see

For TURKISH market report, see

For RUSSIAN market report, see (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Giles Elgood)

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