EMERGING MARKETS-EMEA FX falls, South Africa's rand hit by debt concerns

* Turkish lira nears record low

* MSCI EM stocks index falls

* Czech crown at near 5-month low against euro

Oct 14 (Reuters) - Renewed worries about South Africa’s bloated debt levels put the rand among the worst-performing EMEA currencies on Wednesday, while emerging market stocks fell as another COVID-19 vaccine delay hurt demand for risk-linked assets.

The rand shed about 0.7% after finance minister Tito Mboweni asked parliament on Tuesday to postpone the budget by a week and advisors to President Cyril Ramaphosa said government plans to curb rising debt were too ambitious.

The South African economy was in recession before the coronavirus pandemic and its strict lockdown has worsened the situation.

South African equities were a touch higher.

The MSCI index of emerging market stocks fell about 0.2%, tracking overnight weakness in Wall Street after further halts to vaccine trials and a snag in new stimulus talks hurt risk appetite.

Most stock markets have staged speedy recoveries from pandemic-driven lows as ultra-low interest rates around the globe have pushed investors into higher-yielding equities.

“The technical picture of most stock indices, especially the U.S. ones, remains relatively positive, which means that yesterday’s retreat may be an opportunity for some buyers to jump back into the action,” Charalambos Pissouros Senior Market Analyst at JFD Group wrote in a note.

“(But) we remain reluctant to trust a long-lasting recovery ... there are several risks to be considered, including how fast the virus continues to spread, the U.S. elections, and the stalemate in Brexit talks.”

Turkey’s lira eyed a record low after the United States accused Ankara of unilaterally stoking tensions and “deliberately” complicating the resumption of talks with Greece over the eastern Mediterranean by sending a vessel to carry out seismic surveys there.

The lira has hit several record lows this month and is approaching the threshold of 8 per dollar as geopolitical tensions add to worries about its dwindling foreign exchange reserves following a sharp coronavirus-related contraction.

Russia’s rouble tracked a fall in oil prices.

In Central European markets, the Czech crown hit a near five-month low to the euro as new government curbs on social activity to reduce the spread of the coronavirus came into effect from Wednesday.

For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance in 2020, see For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance in 2020, see

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For RUSSIAN market report, see (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Catherine Evans)