EMERGING MARKETS-Stocks look to mark positive end to brutal week

* EM stocks set to end the week around 2% lower

* Evergrande should not bet on govt bailout – Global Times editor

* Indian shares mark eight straight session of highs

* Russian stocks hit by possible new tax; citizens head to polls

Sept 17 (Reuters) – Emerging market stocks rose on Friday for the first time this week, as Chinese equities recovered after a bruising week, although worries about a likely default by indebted property developer Evergrande kept a lid on gains.

MSCI’s index of EM shares hit a three-week low earlier in the session before recouping. It was last up 0.4% as heavyweight Chinese blue-chips and Hong Kong tech stocks rose 1% and 3.2%, respectively.

For the week, the EM index is set to lose around 2%, its worst weekly show in a month, as fears of a contagion from a likely Evergrande default, worries over global growth, and Beijing’s tightening grip on businesses hammered risk sentiment.

The editor of a Chinese state-backed newspaper warned Evergrande, saddled with more than $300 billion in total liabilities, that it should not depend on a government bailout. Its shares were set for their worst week ever, down almost 30%.

“We suspect it would take a policy misstep for (an Evergrande default) to cause a sharp slowdown in (China’s) economy,” said Simon MacAdam, senior global economist at Capital Economics.

“In a hard-landing scenario, several emerging markets are vulnerable.”

Indian shares marked their eighth straight session of record highs, thanks to fiscal measures.

Russia’s MOEX was now more than 1% away from all-time highs, with losses on the day being led by some miners after sources said Russia’s finance ministry proposed setting a mineral extraction tax.

Russia’s rouble was 0.3% higher against the dollar in the interbank rate, while it traded flat on the Moscow exchange , as citizens go the polls to elect a new parliament. Ruling United Russia party is expected to win despite a ratings slump.

Russian central bank chief Elvira Nabiullina warned on Friday that inflation in the country could hit 7% this month and move back towards the target of 4% only in the second half of 2022. The bank is considering more interest-rate hikes in the upcoming meetings, Nabiullina said. Last month saw the fifth rate hike this year to 6.75%.

Turkey’s lira hit a five-week low, down 0.6%, extending previous session’s 1% slide. President Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey will bring inflation down as soon as possible. Annual inflation currently stands at 19.25%, above the main interest rate at 19%.

The central bank meets next week, with investors worried about a premature easing in the policy rate as Governor Sahip Kavcioglu recently struck a dovish tone amid pressure from Erdogan to cut rates.

For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance in 2021, see tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance in 2021, see tmsnrt.rs/2OusNdX

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