(Bloomberg) -- Price swings in emerging-market stocks widened to the most in four years and currencies slid to a record in a sign the Federal Reserve’s decision to delay an interest-rate increase is leaving investors more nervous instead of calming them.
Thirty-day volatility in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index has risen on three of the five days since the Fed’s move on Sept. 17, pushing the equities benchmark toward the second- biggest weekly slump since May 2012. The gauge fell for a fourth day, the longest streak in a month, as investors awaited a speech by Fed Chair Janet Yellen for clues on U.S. monetary policy. The currencies of South Africa, Turkey and Malaysia -- countries identified by markets as deserving a credit-rating downgrade -- declined.
“The Fed’s decision to delay the interest-rate hike is actually working just the opposite way and creating uncertainty,” Hertta Alava, who helps oversee the equivalent of $395 million as the head ofemerging markets at FIM Asset Management Ltd. in Helsinki, said by e-mail. “Volatility will stay relatively high at least until the next Fed meeting.”
The MSCI emerging markets gauge dropped 1.2 % to 782.57 at 9:30 a.m. in New York amid concern that global economic growth is stalling because of a slowdown in China. The measure has fallen 5.7 % this week and trades at 10.4 times the projected earnings of its members, a 30 % discount to advanced-nation shares. A gauge of 20 developing- nation currencies slipped 0.4 %, its fifth day of losses.
Yellen speaks Thursday in Amherst, Massachusetts, on “Inflation Dynamics and Monetary Policy.” While she won’t take questions, the Fed chair will have an opportunity to clarify whether the central bank remains on track to raise interest rates in 2015, or will do so next year.
Russian shares headed for the longest losing streak in 14 months as the nation’s biggest mining companies fell on concern they may be targeted by the government for raising taxes to cover a budget shortfall. Uralkali PJSC declined 2.7 %, contributing to the Micex Index’s 0.5 % drop. The gauge has lost 6.8 % in the last six days, trimming its advance this year to 16 %. The dollar-denominated RTS Index slid to a four-week low.
The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index declined 1.1 % to a two-week low, as China’s economic slowdown overshadowed President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the U.S.
The Philippine Stock Exchange Index completed a four-day retreat, the longest losing streak in five weeks. Overseas investors have sold $667 million of local shares this month, set for their largest monthly withdrawal on record.
South Africa’s rand, Malaysia’s ringgit and Turkey’s lira fell at least 0.7 % each as the currencies index extended its decrease this week to 2.6 %. Taiwan dollar forwards slid to a six-year low as the central bank cut interest rates for the first time since 2009.
The premium investors demand to own emerging-market debt over U.S. Treasuries widened eight basis points to 409, according to JPMorgan Chase indexes.
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