“Emerging-market currencies weakened, led by India’s rupee and Russia’s ruble, as investors awaited the outcome of a Federal Reserve meeting. Most developing-nation stocks rose as Philippine and Indonesian equities rallied.
The rupee headed for a record-low close against the dollar and the ruble slid 1 percent. TheBloomberg-JPMorgan Asia Dollar Index (ADXY), which tracks the region’s 10 most-traded currencies, slid to the lowest level since Sept. 12. The Federal Open Market Committee starts a two-day policy meeting today, a month after Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said stimulus efforts could be scaled back if the employment outlook shows sustainable improvement.
“The market is not sure what exactly the FOMC will say but is adjusting to the risk of an announcement of early tapering of quantitative easing,” Gaelle Blanchard, senior emerging-market strategist at Societe Generale SA in London, said by e-mail.
About three stocks advanced for every two that fell in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, which lost 0.4 percent to 953.76 at 12:45 p.m. in London. SM Investments Corp. (SM) drove the Philippine benchmark gauge to the largest three-day gain since September 2011. Indonesian equities rallied after the nation’s parliament approved a revised budget.
The rupee sank 1.5 percent versus the dollar and the Malaysian ringgit slid 0.7 percent. The Bloomberg-JPMorgan Asia Dollar Index lost 0.3 percent. Hungary’s forint weakened 1 percent versus the euro. South Africa’s rand dropped 0.7 percent, extending declines in the past month to 6.3 percent.