Turkey's lira hits new lows
ReutersTurkey's lira hit new lows on April 23, hurt by political tensions and the central bank's failure to deliver more currency-supportive measures, while emerging equity markets rose for a third day.
Chinese bourses hit fresh 15-year highs and the MSCI emerging equities index was up 0.2 percent to within a whisker of seven-month highs reached on Friday.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was at seven-year highs on signs China is entering a prolonged cycle of pro-growth monetary easing.
China's central bank on Sunday cut the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves, the second industry-wide cut in two months, to spur bank lending and support growth.
"These latest cuts are the first step from the (central bank) to say... we need to ease monetary conditions. It's hard to see how aggressive they will be, but it is clear they have started and this is helpful for the rest of Asia," said Lars Christensen, chief emerging market analyst at Danske Bank.
Emerging European markets were less buoyant, with Turkey especially weighed down by political friction ahead of June elections and Wednesday's central bank meeting that highlighted policymakers' difficult position with regard to the currency.
The lira fell 0.6 percent versus the dollar.
The central bank hiked what it pays on lira reserves and cut dollar borrowing costs, but the moves were seen as half-hearted and interpreted as unwillingness to irk the government by raising interest rates.
"The market essentially expected more from the (central bank) yesterday in terms of offering to stem lira weakness and even its statement was deemed to be overly dovish," Standard Bank analysts said.
The South African rand traded at one-month lows to the dollar, which was marginally firmer against its currency basket
The rouble however shrugged off the dollar moves to gain more than 1 percent after a 3 percent jump on April 22. Analysts attributed the gains to tax payment deadlines that require the conversion of export earnings.
However, Moscow rouble-denominated shares lost 2 percent following the European Union's accusation that gas giant Gazprom had overcharged buyers in eastern Europe and hindered competition.
The Polish zloty pulled back further from recent 3-1/2 year highs versus the euro and minutes showed six out of 10 central bankers had backed March's 50 basis point rate cut. Rates were kept at hold in April despite deflation.