December 10, 2019 / 9:11 AM / a month ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Stocks, currencies flat amid U.S.-China tariff jitters

* MSCI EM stocks, currencies index unchanged

* China assets unchanged after mixed inflation numbers

* Russia’s rouble weaker as oil prices dip

By Ambar Warrick

Dec 10 (Reuters) - Stocks were little changed on Tuesday, less than a week before the United States is due to impose more tariffs on Chinese goods.

Markets are holding out hopes for an interim trade deal before the Dec. 15 deadline for new tariffs, although mixed signals from the United States last week and Beijing’s insistence on the removal of existing tariffs has kept investors cautious.

“It’s very much up in the air right now. We believe that the two sides will reach an agreement of some sorts and if they don’t, the U.S. would not raise the tariffs. They would waiver them and continue negotiations,” said Jakob Christensen, chief analyst, head of EM research at Danske Bank.

The MSCI’s emerging-markets stock index drifted lower. The currencies index was largely flat.

Chinese stocks and the yuan were muted after data showed the country’s industrial inflation slowed in November but consumer inflation was near an eight-year peak.

A trade war with the United States has hobbled China’s economy, with manufacturing bearing the brunt of the pressure.

Russia’s stock index fell as energy and communication stocks weakened. The index was set to end two straight sessions of gains as energy stocks dropped in tandem with oil prices. Crude fell on Tuesday as global demand slowed. The rouble was weaker to the dollar,

South African stocks dropped while the rand strengthened before the release of manufacturing data for October later in the day. A weak reading is expected, according to a Reuters poll, and more pressure is likely after a series of power cuts.

The Czech koruna was largely unchanged against the euro after the country’s headline inflation rose at its fastest pace in seven years in November.

For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance 2019, see tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance 2019, 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 Ambar Warrick and Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru; editing by Larry King)

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