EMERGING MARKETS-Emerging stocks, FX rise on hopes of progress in trade talks

Market trading boards are seen at the Australian Securities Exchange in Sydney, Friday, February 9, 2018. ( AAP Image/Ben Rushton) NO ARCHIVING

* MSCI EM stock index snaps four losing days, up 0.4 pct

* Indian rupee awaits Jan inflation data to gauge c.bank move

* S.Africa rand up after Monday’s fall on Eskom power cuts

By Susan Mathew

Feb 12 (Reuters) – Emerging market shares rebounded on Tuesday, after four sessions of losses, buoyed by hopes of a resolution of trade tensions between China and the United States.

U.S. and Chinese officials expressed hopes on Monday that a new round of talks this week would bring them closer to easing their seven-month trade war, which has contributed to slowing global growth and roiled financial markets.

The world’s two largest economies are trying to hammer out a deal before a March 1 deadline, after which U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports are scheduled to increase to 25 percent from 10 percent.

Analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research said in a note that an extension to the March 1 deadline was possible but they warned against the optimism around it.

“An extension with little meaningful progress (on a narrow trade deal) may now disappoint, while global trade is unlikely to recover in this scenario,” they said.

Mainland China stocks extended gains to a fourth day, while Taiwan shares rose nearly 1 percent. Equities in Turkey, Russia and South Africa climbed by between 0.4 and 1.1 percent, helping the MSCI index of developing world shares rise 0.4 percent.

Emerging market currencies firmed against a steady dollar. Most Asian currencies gained ground, while South Africa’s rand firmed 0.2 percent, cutting some of Monday’s losses.

The rand lost more than 1 percent on Monday after state electricity firm Eskom stepped up controlled power cuts because of a shortage of generating capacity.

India’s rupee was up 0.6 percent at a near one-month high ahead of January consumer inflation data due later in the day that could determine the central bank’s next interest rate move.

The bank unexpectedly cut rates this month after inflation fell in December, with Governor Shaktikanta Das hinting at more loosening if inflation remained muted. A Reuters poll predicted inflation reversed course and accelerated in January, but was still below the central bank’s medium-term target.

Among emerging European currencies, the Hungarian forint strengthened after the country’s core inflation jumped to a five-year high of 3.2 percent in January.

That beat estimates and revived expectations for near-term liquidity tightening by the central bank.

For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance 2018, see tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance 2018, see tmsnrt.rs/2OusNdX

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For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see

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For RUSSIAN market report, see (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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