Emerging-market stocks advanced, snapping a two-day decline, after better-than-estimated U.S. housing data bolstered confidence in the global economy. Tencent Holdings Ltd. led technology companies to a record high.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index rose 0.1 percent to 956.26. The Shanghai Composite Index halted a four-day slide that sent valuations close to record lows, while Tencent Holdings Ltd., Asia’s largest Internet company, climbed to a record in Hong Kong. Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s biggest smartphone maker, jumped to the highest this year in Seoul. Ukraine’s hryvnia fell past 10 per dollar for the first time as the central bank said it ended support for the currency.
Technology shares led gains in the benchmark for developing nations, climbing to the highest level since 1995. The broad measure rose after government data showed that purchases of new U.S. homes unexpectedly climbed in January to the highest level in more than five years, showing underlying strength in the industry even in the midst of unusually harsh weather.
“It shows the economy continues to expand, giving investors some optimism on global growth and, consequently, higher demand for everything,” Anvar Gilyazitdinov, who manages about $10 million at Rye, Man & Gor Securities in Moscow, said by phone. “That outweighs emerging markets’ domestic risks.”
The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index exchange-traded fund added 0.1 percent to $39.01. The premium investors demand to own emerging-market debt over U.S. Treasuries rose 0.02 percentage point to 331 basis points, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Brazil’s Ibovespa fell as state-run oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA sank on concern that government-ordered fuel subsidies will make it difficult to fund its business plan, outweighing gains in consumer stocks.
Russian stocks slid to the lowest level in three weeks, led by as OAO Gazprom. Benchmark equity gauges in Poland and Turkey slid at least 1 percent. Ukraine’s currency, which is managed by the central bank, weakened 4.4 percent to 10.15 per dollar at 8:53 p.m. in Kiev, data compiled by Bloomberg show. NATO and the Obama administration made a plea for keeping post-revolutionary Ukraine in one piece as tensions mounted in the Crimea and the Kremlin ordered a test of combat readiness of nearby Russian military units. Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. is formulating a $1 billion loan guarantee for Ukraine and is working with the International Monetary Fund and other international organizations that would provide the money.
The Shanghai Composite Index rose as China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. and Jiangxi Copper Co. led a rally in energy and metal producers. Benchmark money-market rates fell to a seven-month low as central bank efforts to weaken the yuan boosted the supply of cash in the financial system. Tencent Holdings jumped 1.8 percent in Hong Kong, while Samsung drove the Kospi Index to the highest level this year.