October 24, 2018 / 9:01 AM / a year ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Stocks get some relief; rand awaits budget

Oct 24 (Reuters) - Emerging-market stocks steadied on Wednesday, with Shanghai indexes boosted by upbeat earnings and signs of more government moves to support the stock market. South Africa’s rand edged higher before the government offers a budget proposal.

The MSCI index of emerging-market stocks recovered from lows hit a day earlier, but was still on track for its worst month since August 2015.

Chinese equities closed with slight gains. Markets in India and Russia also rose.

“Given ... such a big setback in the last few days, I don’t think it’s a surprise that we are seeing a little bit of a breathing space,” said Anders Svendsen, chief analyst for emerging markets at Nordea Markets.

Gains were limited by British Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech to Conservative Party lawmakers in parliament on Brexit and a growing international row over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Kashoggi.

Most Asian currencies gained, led by the Indian rupee’s rise to a three-week high helped. The South African rand held steady ahead of the medium-term budget speech by Tito Mboweni, the country’s finance minister.

Mboweni is expected to target spending on agriculture, infrastructure and job creation in his speech, with analysts watching for concessions to attract investors.

The tone of his speech may decide whether Moody’s strips South Africa of its last investment-grade credit rating at a review expected afterwards. Mboweni is expected to reiterate previous forecasts for the coming two fiscal years.

“The Minister of Finance will have to convince investors and rating agencies of the success and sustainability of the planned measures for the consolidation of the national finances,” analysts at Commerzbank said.

Inflation in South Africa held steady at 4.9 percent in September, as expected.

The Turkish lira slipped before a central bank meeting on Thursday, when analysts expect the bank to sound hawkish but stand pat on interest rates after raising them 625 basis points last month to 24 percent.

“They could really do a lot by doing very little. If they do small hikes, it would have a massive impact on the perception of their independence,” Nordea’s Svendsen added.

Pakistani shares gained nearly 4 percent after overnight news that Saudi Arabia has offered a $6 billion rescue package for its economy. Islamabad says it still plans to seek International Monetary Fund support, Pakistan’s finance minister said.

For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance 2018, see tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance 2018, 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 Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; editing by Larry King)

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