(Bloomberg) -- Emerging-market stocks declined to a three-week low after better-than-estimated U.S. data bolstered speculation the Federal Reserve will reduce stimulus. South Africa’s rand slumped to the lowest level since 2009.

Equities pared losses amid optimism U.S. lawmakers will reach a compromise on the federal budget. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index fell 0.6 percent to 996.60 at 11:11 a.m. in New York. The Czech PX Index sank as data showed the economy contracted for a seventh quarter. The Shanghai Composite Index jumped on central bank plans to implement reform measures for the free-trade zone within three months. The rand retreated amid the longest slide of South African bonds in five years.

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