Emerging-Market Stocks Advance to 10-Month High on Oil, Korea

Emerging-market stocks climbed to the highest in 10 months as rising commodity prices boosted energy producers and consumer confidence in South Korea jumped to the highest in seven years.

Russia’s Micex Index (INDEXCF) rallied 0.9 percent, led by a 7.5 percent gain in Potash producer OAO Uralkali. Oil producers rose as crude climbed for a ninth day to $68.38 a barrel. Hynix Semiconductor Inc., the world’s second-largest computer-memory chipmaker, increased to a nine-month high as South Korea’s consumer sentiment index climbed to the best level since the third quarter of 2002. Brazil’s Bovespa (IBOV) index rose to the highest level in almost 11 months.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index (MXEF) added 1.2 percent to 833.66, the highest close since Sept. 25. The benchmark of equities in 22 developing nations gained 75 percent since March 3 on speculation the worst of the global recession has passed.

In eastern Europe, Latvia’s 34-member OMX Riga stock index rose the most in more than seven months, leading gains in the world’s biggest equity gauges, after the country received a second loan installment from the European Commission of 1.2 billion euros ($1.7 billion).

The benchmark index climbed 4.3 percent to 267.94 even as Latvia’s biggest coalition government member said it may refuse to sign a letter of intent with the International Monetary Fund, which helped provide the country’s 7.5 billion-euro international stabilization program.

The Bovespa rose 0.2 percent to 54,548.99. Votorantim Celulose e Papel SA and Vale SA led a rally in paper and metals makers. Gafisa SA rose to its highest level since September after Banco Santander SA said the company’s sales outlook is improving.

Emerging-market bonds rose, with the extra yield investors demand to own developing nations’ bonds instead of U.S. Treasuries narrowing six basis points to 3.80 percentage points, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s EMBI+ Index. A basis point equals 0.01 percentage point.

To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Cochrane in London at lcochrane3@bloomberg.net; Lester Pimentel in New York at lpimentel1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net

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