(Bloomberg) -- Developing-world currencies were mixed on Tuesday as traders awaited key speeches and data that could shed light on the outlook for US interest rates while losses in Hong Kong-listed tech stocks drove emerging-market equities lower. 

MSCI’s main emerging-market stock index fell 0.9%, breaking a three-day winning streak that had taken the gauge to a seven-month high. A key index for currencies was little changed as Peru’s sol, Hungary’s forint and South Africa’s rand led gains. Chile’s peso fell the most amid expectations for more interest rate cuts and weaker prices for the country’s top export copper. 

Losses in US technology giants damped risk taking across markets ahead of congressional testimony by Jerome Powell on Wednesday and Thursday, during which the Federal Reserve chair is expected to reiterate the lack of urgency for rate cuts. On Friday, US nonfarm payrolls figures will also be closely watched. Emerging-market currencies have gained since mid-January on hopes that the central bank will start cutting interest rates soon.

“They’re going to keep us guessing for the short term,” said Juan Perez, director of trading at Monex USA. “Now finally people are getting out of that mentality that there’s going to be a dovish Fed or that the Fed is saying one thing and that message is not entirely how they’re going to act later.”

A JPMorgan index for currency volatility in emerging markets is near a four-year low, effectively freezing investors in place as they refrain from exiting positions that stand to benefit from the Fed’s cuts.

READ MORE: Low Volatility Chokes Currencies as Emerging-Market Trades Fail

Mexico’s peso firmed to its strongest since mid-January after breaking through the 17 per-dollar level on Monday, but pared back gains to trade little changed on the day. Hungary’s forint reversed early declines that had pushed it to the weakest in a year against the euro. The decline came after the government acknowledged it would take years to narrow its budget gap.

Meanwhile, Argentine bonds slipped, pulling back due to efforts by President Javier Milei to put together a political pact to push through his proposals to overhaul the economy.

Hurting stocks, China set its annual growth target at around 5%, a goal that analysts saw as out of reach without further stimulus. The country’s property debt crisis also showed more signs of trouble, with one of the country’s state-backed developers scrutinized by investors.

“Given the strong headwinds that China is facing, including the real estate troubles, a 5% target for this year is ambitious,” Commerzbank analyst Tommy Wu wrote in a note to clients. “This means that the government will need to roll out stimulus more effectively.”

And, Israel is selling its first international bond in public markets since its war with Hamas erupted in October, the country’s biggest sale of dollar notes on record. Debt issuance by Eastern European countries also continued, with Croatia selling a benchmark-sized 10-year euro-denominated bond.

--With assistance from Srinivasan Sivabalan and Colleen Goko.

(Updates currency movements, adds analyst comments after paragraph three.)

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