Emerging-market stocks fell toward a six- month low and currencies weakened as investors awaited updates on Greece’s debt crisis and concern grew that China’s bid to stem a rout in the nation’s equities is failing.
The Shanghai Composite Index sank 1.3 percent amid a record drop in margin bets. Chinese shares traded in Hong Kong entered a bear market as Citic Securities Co. and Haitong Securities Co. plunged more than 13 percent. Russia’s ruble headed for a three- month low versus the dollar, while South Africa’s rand lost 0.6 percent.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index slid 1 percent to 933.59 at 10:52 a.m. in London, its fifth day of declines. Euro-area leaders and finance ministers meet Tuesday as German Chancellor Angela Merkel said “time is running out” for Greece to unveil a plan to stay in the currency union. A Bloomberg gauge of 20 currencies has dropped 3.8 percent in the past two months, in part on concern the Federal Reserve is moving closer to raising interest rates.
“The lack of visibility on the Greek outlook coupled with the drop in Chinese equities and continued concerns over a possible September Fed rate hike” is weighing on markets, Simon Quijano-Evans, the head of emerging-market research at Commerzbank AG in London, said by e-mail. “The uncertainty will continue until we have more clarity on at least one of the three factors.”
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras arrived in Brussels in a last-ditch attempt to secure a rescue from European leaders and keep his country in the euro region.
The developing-nation gauge has fallen 2.3 percent this year and trades at 11.3 times projected 12-month earnings, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The MSCI World Index has gained 1.2 percent in 2015 and is valued at a multiple of 16.
All 10 industry groups in the emerging-markets measure declined, led by utility and financial companies. The premium investors demand to hold developing-country debt over U.S. Treasuries widened two basis points to 358, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. indexes.
Russia’s Micex Index headed for the lowest level since May and the ruble depreciated for a third day. The central bank may continue buying foreign exchange despite lower oil prices until the ruble weakens to 60 versus the dollar as the current level is too strong for the economy, Vladimir Miklashevsky, an analyst at Danske Bank, said in an e-mail.
A gauge of 20 emerging-market currencies slipped 0.3 percent, its third day of declines.
The Shanghai Composite Index sank for the fourth time in five days. The Hang Seng China Enterprises gauge slumped 3.3 percent, led by Citic Securities Haitong Securities. The stock index slid 20 percent from the May 26 peak to join the Shanghai Composite in entering a bear market.
Traders cut 93.6 billion yuan ($15 billion) worth of shareholdings bought with borrowed money on the Shanghai exchange Monday, the most since at least 2010.
A flurry of measures to stabilize the market, including a pledge by state-run financial firms to buy 120 billion yuan worth of shares and a halt to initial public offerings, is failing to stop the rout that erased more than $3.2 trillion of value in less than a month.
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