Emerging market stocks fell on Wednesday as investors stayed away from riskier assets ahead of more make-or-break British parliamentary votes on Brexit.
Currencies in the developing world made marginal moves after British lawmakers crushed Theresa May’s Brexit deal on Tuesday night, forcing parliament to vote within days whether to back a no-deal Brexit or seek a last-minute delay.
MSCI’s index for emerging markets fell with Shanghai stocks leading losses and sizeable declines in Hong Kong and South Korea. “Brexit headlines seems to have affected the markets in some part but its fairly quiet,” said Jason Tuvey, senior economist, Capital Economics.
Moscow’s MOEX index fell more than 0.3 per cent, led by declines in material stocks.
Russian miner Norilsk Nickel’s shares slid over 3 per cent after Crispian Investments sold 1.25 per cent of its stake in the firm.
Sri Lanka’s shares hit a 5-1/2-year low as investors awaited a budget vote to assess the political stability of the government.
Stocks in Johannesburg rose 0.3 per cent with precious metal miners getting a boost from gold prices scaling a near two-week peak.
Most emerging market currencies made nominal moves except the trade-sensitive South Korean won which fell 0.4 per cent. Russia’s rouble hit a two-week high helped by foreign interest in the country’s treasury bonds and higher oil prices. In emerging Europe, Romania’s leu came off seven-week lows after data showed industrial output was up 0.8 per cent for the year.