The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index exchange-traded fund advanced for the second time in three days after a better-than-estimated U.S. retail sales report bolstered optimism about global economic growth.
The developing-nation ETF increased 1.1 percent to $40.22 at 4 p.m. in New York. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index declined 0.2 percent to 975.28. The Shanghai Composite Index rebounded from a five-month low after the Chinese benchmark gauge reached the cheapest valuation levels on record. Oi SA led a rally in Brazilian telecommunications companies. Thailand’s baht posted the biggest advance in almost three months, while Russia’s ruble tumbled to the lowest level in five years.
The emmerging-market ETF rallied as a report showed that American retail sales rose more than forecast in December as consumers snapped up holiday gifts amid year-end discounting. Federal Reserve board members Charles Plosser and Richard Fisher separately called for an end to the central bank’s monthly bond purchases after Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart yesterday backed reductions. The gauge for stocks in developing nations has slid as much as 16 percent since May 22, when the Fed signaled stimulus could be trimmed.
“Anything they say at this point will be nuanced to determine what they really mean,” Walter “Bucky” Hellwig, who helps manage $17 billion of assets at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama, said by phone. “It’s going to be very nebulous and the market will take the ball and run with it whichever way they figure out it’s supposed to mean.”
Brazil’s Ibovespa gained as Oi led a rally in telecommunications companies after the nation’s antitrust regulator approved its planned merger with Portugal Telecom SGPS SA. The nation’s swap rates climbed on speculation that policy makers convening for a two-day meeting will lift borrowing costs by as much as a half-percentage point for a sixth straight time to curb inflation.
Russian stocks fell from the highest level in two weeks as OAO Gazprom, the nation’s gas export monopoly, and OAO Sberbank dropped. The ruble dropped 0.1 percent to 38.8401 against Bank Rossii’s target basket of dollars and euros by 6 p.m. in Moscow. The central bank yesterday cut the so-called daily targeted interventions to zero from $60 million, removing yet another support for the ruble as part of its plan to make the currency free-floating by next year.
China’s stocks rose for the first time in five days as Sinopec gained 2.5 percent. FAW Car Co. jumped 5.1 percent after the Xinhua News Agency cited the People’s Liberation Army as saying the military must buy domestic-brand vehicles. Great Wall Motor Co., the nation’s biggest maker of sport utility vehicles, slid after it delayed the introduction of a model.
India’s S&P BSE Sensex dropped, led by metal producers and software makers, as the benchmark index retreated from a seven-week high amid losses in global equities. Sesa Sterlite Ltd. posted its biggest three-day decline in more than a month, pacing losses among its peers. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., India’s largest software maker, slid from a record.
Thailand’s baht strengthened 0.7 percent and stocks rose as no violence was reported at a blockade of central Bangkok by anti-government demonstrators. The protest is likely to remain peaceful, Charamporn Jotikasthira, president of the Stock Exchange of Thailand, said in an e-mailed statement today. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s administration has faced more than two months of street rallies demanding her resignation and electoral reforms.
The premium investors demand to own emerging-market debt over U.S. Treasuries retreated four basis points, or 0.04 percentage point, to 317 basis points, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.