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Stocks fall on U.S.-China trade woes; FX slides

By Agamoni Ghosh

July 17 (Reuters) – Emerging-market shares fell on Wednesday as worries over the U.S.-China trade conflict resurfaced. Currencies in the developing world mostly weakened as the dollar gained.

President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the United States had a long way to go to conclude a trade deal with China and could impose tariffs on another $325 billion worth of Chinese goods if it thought they were necessary.

MSCI’s index for emerging-market shares fell 0.5%, pulled lower by China and Hong Kong.

South Korea’s Kospi slid nearly 1% and the won , Asia’s worst-performing currency this year, slipped further, amid a political and economic dispute with Japan and the possibility of a rate cut when the Bank of Korea meets on Thursday.

Outside Asia, Russian stocks slid 1.3% as declines by Surgutneft and Gazprom weighed on the market.

Developing-world currencies were mostly lower as the dollar rose overnight following robust U.S. retail data and a Brexit-driven dive in the British pound.

South Africa’s rand slipped 0.2% a day before a central bank rate decision. Russia’s rouble gained as oil prices rose.

In Turkey, stocks advanced 0.5%. The lira was little changed.

Turkey started taking delivery of Russia’s S-400 air defense system last week, defying U.S. warnings that doing so would mean the Pentagon would kick it out of the F-35 stealth fighter program and that it could be subject to sanctions.

“One thing we are keeping an eye on is any possible sanctions that the U.S. may impose on Turkey,” said Jason Tuvey, a senior EM economist at Capital Economics. “That would have a considerable impact on the markets, in particular the banking sector which is already vulnerable given its debt woes.”

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For RUSSIAN market report, see (Reporting by Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru, editing by Larry King)

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