Emerging markets face Fed meeting forewarned, inadequately armed
* U.S. Federal Reserve to consider rates on Thursday
* Expectations for Fed rate hike delay to Dec from Sept
* Emerging markets to take a hit from any surprise rise
* Impact likely softened as a rise partially priced in
* Any relief rally could hinge on China growth stabilising
By Vidya Ranganathan
SINGAPORE, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Despite the long drum roll anticipating what could be the U.S. Federal Reserve's first monetary tightening in years, the odds of the Fed lifting interest rates this week have lengthened so much that emerging markets could be hit hard if it happened.
Emerging market currencies have tumbled, equities have fallen and bond yields have risen steadily since the middle of the year, when Fed officials flagged the possibility that they could lift their near-zero rates in the second half for the first time in nine years.
Expectations on timing had centred on September, but as U.S. inflation came in below target, commodity prices fell and China's slowing growth cast a chill over the global economy, a delay to December looks likely. Continuación...