Win Thin

Win Thin

Win Thin is a senior currency strategist with over fifteen years of investment experience. He has a broad international background with a special interest in developing markets. Prior to joining BBH in June 2007, he founded Mandalay Advisors, an independent research firm that provided sovereign emerging market analysis to institutional investors. He received an MA from Georgetown University in 1985 and a B.A. from Brandeis University 1983. Feel free to contact the Zurich office of BBH

Articles by Win Thin

Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX ended mixed in Friday, capping off an up and down week. RUB and TRY initially firmed on their respective rate hikes but gave back some of those gains heading into the weekend. Trade tensions are likely to remain high, as press reports suggest President Trump is pushing ahead with tariffs on $200 bln of Chinese imports even as high-level talks are planned.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Philippine central bank signaled another big hike. Poland central bank appears to be moving its forward guidance out further. Russia officials are sending confusing signals regarding monetary policy. Russia officials stand ready to support the ruble debt market if new US sanctions negatively impact it. South Africa’s African National Congress pledged to undertake land reform responsibly.

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Emerging Market Week Ahead Preview

EM FX ended last week on a firm note, but weakness resumed Monday. Higher than expected Turkish inflation hurt the lira, which in turn dragged down BRL, ARS, ZAR, and RUB. We expect EM to remain under pressure this week when the US returns from holiday Tuesday.

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

China stepped up efforts to attract more foreign inflows to the onshore bond market. Russia has softened its unpopular pension reform proposal. The African National Congress withdrew an existing land expropriation bill. Moody’s downgraded twenty Turkish financial institutions. Turkey central bank Deputy Governor Erkan Kilimci has reportedly resigned.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX was whipsawed last week but ended on a firm note. We look past the noise and believe that the true signals for EM remain higher US interest rates and continued trade tensions, both of which are negative. Turkish markets reopen after a week off. Nothing fundamentally has changed there, and so it still poses some spillover risk to wider EM.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX stabilized last week as the situation in Turkey calmed somewhat. Reports Friday that the US and China are hoping to resolve the trade dispute also helped EM FX ahead of the weekend. However, TRY remains vulnerable as the US threatens more sanctions due to the pastor. Both S&P and Moody’s downgraded it ahead of the weekend and our own ratings model points to further downgrades ahead. Turkish markets are closed this week for holiday.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX came under greater pressure last week as the situation in Turkey deteriorated. With no weekend developments as of this writing, we expect Turkish assets to remain under pressure this week. Five worst EM currencies YTD are TRY (-41%), ARS (-36%), RUB (-15%), BRL (-14.5%), and ZAR (-12%). All five have serious baggage that warrants continued underperformance.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX has come under pressure again due to ongoing trade tensions and rising US rates but saw some modest relief Friday after the PBOC announcement on FX forwards. This helped EM FX stabilize, but we do not think the negative fundamental backdrop has changed. Best performers last week were MXN, PHP, and PEN while the worst were TRY, ZAR, and KRW.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX enjoyed a respite from the ongoing selling pressures, with most currencies up on the week vs. the dollar.  Best performers were CLP, MXN, and ZAR while the worst were TRY, CNY, and COP.  BOJ, Fed, and BOE meetings this week may pose some risks to EM FX.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX saw some violent swings last week, due in large part to some unhelpful official comments Friday. BRL and TRY were the best performers last week, while RUB and CLP were the worst. When all is said and done, however, we think Fed policy remains unaffected and so we remain negative on EM FX. Also, global trade tensions remain high after Trump threatened tariffs on all Chinese imports entering the US.

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Emerging Market Preview: Week Ahead

EM FX ended Friday mixed, capping off a mostly softer week.  TRY, MXN, and RUB were the top performers and the only ones up against USD, while ARS, CLP, and BRL were the worst.  Looking ahead, US jobs data on Friday pose some risks to EM, coming on the heels of a higher than expected 2% y/y rise in PCE.  China will also remain on the market’s radar screen, with the first snapshots of June economic activity just starting to emerge.  We remain negative on EM FX.

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

PBOC fixed USD/CNY at the highest level since December 14. Bank Indonesia delivered a larger than expected 50 bp to 5.25%. Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov survived a second no-confidence vote this year. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was re-elected but with sweeping new powers. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and UAE are reportedly in talks to help stabilize Bahrain.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX ended Friday mixed, and capped off a mixed week overall as the dollar’s broad-based rally was sidetracked. EM may start the week on an upbeat after PBOC cut reserve requirements over the weekend. Best EM performers last week were ARS, MXN, and TRY while the worst were THB, IDR, and BRL.

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus was named the new Governor of Malaysia’s central bank. Moody’s cut the outlook on Pakistan’s B3 rating to negative from stable. National Bank of Hungary tiled more hawkish. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife was charged with misusing public funds. MSCI added Saudi Arabia and Argentina to its Emerging Markets index.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX was mixed on Friday but capped off a largely losing week. MYR, CLP, and CNY were the best performers over the last week, while ARS, TRY, and ZAR were the worst. We expect EM FX to continue weakening, but note that with very few fundamental drivers this week, we may see some consolidation near-term.

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

US-China trade tensions are rising. Pakistan devalued the rupee for a third time since December. Bulgaria will seek to join the eurozone banking union and ERM-2 simultaneously. The National Bank of Hungary appears to have tilted more hawkish. Newly elected Egyptian President El-Sisi shuffled his cabinet. Argentina has a new central bank chief after Federico Sturzenegger resigned.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX ended Friday on a mixed note, capping off a roller coaster week for some of the more vulnerable currencies.  We expect continued efforts by EM policymakers to inject some stability into the markets. However, we believe the underlying dollar rally remains intact.  Central bank meetings in the US, eurozone, and Japan this week are likely to drive home that point. 

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

The Reserve Bank of India hiked rates for the first time since 2014. Malaysia’s central bank governor resigned. Czech central bank tilted more hawkish. Russia central bank tilted more dovish. Argentina got a $50 bln standby program from the IMF.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX put in a mixed performance Friday, and capped off an overall mixed week. Over that week, the best performers were IDR, TRY, and INR while the worst were BRL, MXN, and ARS. US yields are recovering and likely to put renewed pressure on EM FX.

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Emerging Market Preview: Week Ahead

EM FX has started the week mixed.  Some relief was seen as US rates stalled out last week, but this Friday’s jobs number could be key for the next leg of this dollar rally.  On Wednesday, the Fed releases its Beige book for the upcoming June 13 FOMC meeting, where a 25 bp hike is widely expected.  We believe EM FX remains vulnerable to further losses.

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

President Trump canceled the planned summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. Malaysia’s new Finance Minister Lim was sworn in along with 13 other cabinet ministers. Philippine central bank cut reserve ratios for commercial banks by one percentage point to 18% effective June 1. The United Arab Emirates opened up its economy to more foreign investment.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX ended Friday on a weak note and extended the slide. For the week as a whole, the best EM performers were PHP, TWD, and SGD while the worst were ARS, ZAR, and TRY. With US rates continuing to move higher, we believe selling pressures on EM FX will remain in play this week. Our recently updated EM Vulnerability Table supports our view that divergences within EM will remain.

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

Bank Indonesia started a tightening cycle with a 25 bp hike to 4.5%. Jailed Malaysia opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was released by new Prime Minister Mahathir. Malaysia scrapped the controversial 6% goods and services tax (GST). Violent protests shook Israel as the relocated US embassy opened in Jerusalem.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX ended Friday on a week note and capped of another generally negative week. Worst performers last week were ARS, BRL, and TRY while the best were ZAR, RUB, and KRW. We remain negative on EM FX and look for losses to continue. US retail sales data Tuesday pose further downside risks to EM FX.

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Emerging Markets Preview: The Week Ahead

EM FX came under intense selling pressures last week. The worst performers were ARS, TRY, and MXN while the best were PHP, KRW, and TWD. US rates are likely to remain the key driver for EM FX, and so PPI and CPI data will be closely watched this week. We believe EM FX will remain under pressure.

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

Bank Indonesia is taking measures to stabilize the local bond market. The Philippine central bank is tilting more hawkish. Czech National Bank cut its inflation forecasts. The Turkish government is loosening fiscal policy to drum up popular support. S&P downgraded Turkey to BB- with stable outlook. Argentina officials are taking significant measures to support the peso. Brazil central bank made a subtle shift in its FX intervention strategy.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX ended Friday on a firm note, capping off a generally softer week overall. TRY and PHP were the best performers last week, while CLP and ZAR were the worst. US core PCE, ISM manufacturing, FOMC meeting, and jobs data all pose risks to EM this week. We remain a bit defensive on risk assets in general now.

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Emerging Market Preview: Week Ahead

EM FX came under renewed pressure last week as US yields rose to new highs for the cycle. RUB and TRY were the top performers last week, while MXN and COP were the worst. There are no Fed speakers this week due to the embargo ahead of the May 2 FOMC meeting. While we see little chance of a hike then, markets are likely to remain nervous.

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

The Reserve Bank of India is tilting more hawkish. Tensions on the Korean peninsula are easing. The Trump administration reversed course on Russia sanctions. Turkey is heading for early elections.
Raul Castro stepped down as president of Cuba. Mexico polls show continued gains for Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX was mixed Friday, capping a mixed week as a whole. COP, CLP, and MXN were the best performers last week, while RUB, BRL, and TRY were the worst. While concerns about trade wars and Syrian missile strikes have ebbed, risks to EM remain elevated. US retail sales Monday and Fed Beige Book Wednesday are the economic highlights this week.

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

Hong Kong Monetary Authority intervened to defend the HKD peg. Moody’s upgraded Indonesia by a notch to Baa2 with a stable outlook. MAS tightened policy by adjusting the slope of its S$NEER trading band up “slightly.” Hungary Prime Minister Orban won a fourth term for his Fidesz party. Poland central bank Governor said it’s possible that the next move will be a rate cut. Russia outlined a range of potential retaliatory measures in response to US sanctions announced last week.

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

Reserve Bank of India cut its inflation forecast for the first half of FY2018/19 to 4.7-5.1%. Former South Korean President Park was sentenced to 24 years in prison. Malaysia Prime Minister Razak has called for early elections. Bahrain discovered its biggest oil field since it started producing crude in 1932. Local press reports Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Simsek tendered his resignation.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX was mostly stronger last week, despite the dollar’s firm tone against the majors. Best EM performers on the week were MXN, KRW, and COP while the worst were ZAR, INR, and PEN. US jobs data poses the biggest risk to EM this week, as US yields have been falling ahead of the data. Indeed, the current US 10-year yield of 2.74% is the lowest since February 6.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM ended Friday under renewed selling pressures, and capped off a mostly softer week. COP, THB, and TWD were the best performers last week, while TRY, RUB, and ZAR were the worst. Despite a widely expected 25 bp hike, this week’s FOMC meeting still has potential to weigh on EM.

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

Hong Kong may impose a tax on unsold apartments as an effort to increase supply and cool off the housing market. Bank of Israel’s MPC had a split vote last month for the first time in three years. South Africa President Ramaphosa said the ANC wants Julius Malema of the opposition EFF to rejoin the party. Former South Africa President Zuma will face trial on 16 criminal charges.

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Emerging Markets: Preview Week Ahead

EM FX ended Friday on a firm note and capped off a mostly firmer week. MXN, KRW, and ZAR were the best performers last week, while CLP, CZK, and PLN were the worst. US jobs data was mixed, with markets focusing on weak average hourly earnings rather than on the strong NFP number. Still, the data did nothing to change market expectations for a 25 bp by the FOMC this month.

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

Indonesia will freeze prices for electricity, gasoline, and diesel fuel until next year. US President Trump and North Korean President Kim Jong Un will hold a summit meeting this spring. National Bank of Poland has tilted even more dovish. Moody’s downgraded Turkey a notch to Ba2 with a stable outlook. Saudi Arabian Energy Minister hinted that the Aramco IPO could be delayed until 2019. Tanzania finally obtained a sovereign rating after years of discussion.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX ended Friday on a mixed note, capping off a largely softer week.  Best performers last week for MYR and TWD while the worst were ZAR and ARS.  US stocks clawed back early losses and ended the week on a firmer note but we think further market turbulence is likely. 

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

China plans to change its constitution to eliminate term limits for President Xi Jinping. Bank Indonesia Deputy Governor Perry Warjiyo was nominated by President Widodo to be the next Governor. Bank of Korea Governor Lee was reappointed by President Moon for a second term. Hungary ruling party candidate lost the mayoral vote in Hodmezovasarhely. S&P upgraded Russia to BBB- with stable outlook.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX ended Friday on a mixed note and capped off a soft week overall. Best performers last week were ZAR, CLP, and PHP while the worst were TRY, ARS, and IDR. Fed Chief Powell’s testimony to Congress will likely draw market attention back to Fed policy.

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

China regulators have taken over Anbang Insurance. Group for at least one year. RBI minutes from this month’s meeting were more hawkish than expected. The RBI is reportedly reviewing its process for allowing local companies to issue debt overseas. Effective June 1, IDR-denominated debt becomes eligible for the Barclays Global Aggregate Index.Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is coming under increasing pressure.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX ended on a mixed note Friday, but capped off a very strong week overall. Best performers over the past week were RUB, ZAR, and COP, while the worst were PHP, CNY, and TWD. There is not much happening this week that could disrupt the weak dollar narrative, and so EM FX should continue to rally.

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

The National Stock Exchange of India will end all licensing agreements and stop offering live prices overseas. Philippine central bank cut reserve requirements for commercial banks. Egypt cut rates for the first time since 2015. Israeli police recommended that Prime Minister Netanyahu be charged. South Africa President Zuma resigned before a no confidence vote was held.

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Emerging Markets: The Week Ahead, February 12

EM FX ended Friday on a mixed note, as risk assets recovered a bit from broad-based selling pressures. Best EM performers on the week were ZAR, PHP, and CNY while the worst were COP, RUB, and ARS. Besides the risk-off impulses still reverberating through global markets, we think lower commodity prices are another headwind on EM.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Reuters reported that China may loosen controls on outbound capital flows (QDLP). Samsung chief Lee was set free in an unexpected court reversal. Romania central bank hiked rates by 25 bp and raised its inflation forecasts for the next two years. South Africa President Zuma appears to be on the way out. Ecuador voters approved a referendum that reinstates term limits for the president. Venezuela central bank restarted FX auctions for the first time since August and devalued the bolivar by more than 80%.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX ended Friday on a weak note and capped off a week of softness. We felt that more and more EM policymakers were getting uncomfortable with FX strength and are likely welcome this recent weakening. However, that’s only if their stock and bond markets hold up, which they are (for now).

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

India plans to increase spending and widen its budget deficit targets ahead of key elections. India appears to be cracking down on cryptocurrencies. South Africa’s parliament has scheduled a no- confidence vote for Zuma on February 22. Turkish central bank raised its end-2018 inflation forecast in its quarterly inflation report. Peru’s Popular Force party expelled Kenji Fujimori and several of his allies.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX closed Friday on a mixed note, but still posted solid gains for the week as a whole. Best performers last week were ZAR, PLN, and CZK while the worst were ARS, PHP, and IDR. The bearish dollar environment remains intact and so we see further gains for EM FX this week. However, we continue to warn that divergences within EM are likely to assert themselves.

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

Korea policymakers have asked state-owned banks and companies to limit the issuance of global bonds. Malaysia’s central bank hiked rates for the first time in four years. Pakistan’s central bank unexpectedly hiked rates for the first time in over four years. Moody’s raised its outlook on Russia’s Ba1 rating from stable to positive. Argentina’s central bank surprised markets with its second straight 75 bp rate cut.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX ended last week on a soft note, but still enjoyed a relatively positive tone for the week as a whole. Best performers last week were MXN, ZAR, and CNY while the worst were ARS, TRY, and CLP. With little on the horizon to give the dollar some traction, we think EM FX will likely continue to firm this week. However, we again urge caution and look for divergences within EM.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX continues to rally as the dollar remains on its back foot. With no obvious drivers this week that might help the dollar, we believe EM FX can extend the recent gains. Still, we continue to advise caution when investing in EM, as differentiation should again become evident as idiosyncratic risks remain in play.

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

China State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) disputed press reports that it was slowing or halting purchases of US Treasury bonds. Korean officials warned that it will take stern steps to prevent one-sided currency moves. Bulgaria is talking “intensively” with the ECB and other EU representatives about entering the Exchange Rate Mechanism by mid-year.

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Emerging Market Preview: Week Ahead

EM FX was mostly firmer last week, but ended on a mixed note Friday. Best performers on the week for COP, MXN, and BRL while the worst were ARS, PHP, and CNY. We continue to warn investors against blindly buying into this broad-based EM rally, as we believe divergences will once again assert themselves in the coming weeks.

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

Tensions on the Korean peninsula appear to be easing. Relations between Pakistan and the US have worsened. The Philippine central bank is tilting more hawkish. The ANC may consider removing Zuma from the presidency at the January 10 meeting of its National Executive Committee. Turkish banker Atilla was convicted of helping Iran evade US financial sanctions.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Fitch upgraded Indonesia by a notch to BBB with stable outlook. EU-Poland tensions entered a new phase. Cyril Ramaphosa was elected as the new ANC President over opponent Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Argentina’s lower house approved President Macri’s pension reform bill. Sebastian Pinera won the Chilean presidency in the second round vote.

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

China eased curbs on coal use for heating in the northern provinces to cope with colder weather. Poland announced a cabinet shuffle. Poland’s lower house approved the controversial judicial reform bill. President Trump announced that the US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Brazil COPOM was more dovish than expected after cutting rates 50 bp to 7.0%. Chile central bank cut its 2017 and 2018 inflation forecasts and shifted to a more dovish stance.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX ended the week on a mixed note. US jobs data may refocus market attention on Fed tightening. Most EM inflation readings this week are expected to show easing price pressures, supporting a dovish EM central bank outlook. The major exceptions are Mexico and Turkey, whose central banks may be forced to tighten policy in the coming weeks.

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

Bank of Korea hiked rates by 25 bp to 1.50%, the first hike in six years. Egypt central bank lifted the last remaining currency controls. S&P cut South Africa’s foreign currency rating one notch to BB with stable outlook. Turkey President Erdogan was implicated in an alleged plot to help Iran evade US sanctions. Moody’s upgraded Argentina one notch to B2 with stable outlook.

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Emerging Market Preview: Week Ahead

EM FX ended the holiday-shortened week on a soft note. While most were up on the entire week, notable laggards were TRY, CLP, and ZAR. All three currencies underperformed due to rising political risks, and we suspect that will continue. We believe MXN and BRL are likely to rejoin the laggards in the coming days.

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Emerging Market Preview: Week Ahead

EM FX ended the week firm, and capped off a good week overall. Best performers last week for ZAR and KRW, while the worst were TRY and IDR. Until we get higher US rates, the dollar may remain under modest pressure. This would help EM maintain some traction, though we remain cautious.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Moody’s raised India’s sovereign debt rating for the first time since 2004 by a notch to Baa2. Nigerian officials are on a global roadshow to support plans to issue its longest-dated Eurobonds ever. The head of South Africa’s budget office resigned.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX closed the week on a soft note. For the week as a whole, best performers were MYR, PLN, and COP, while the worst were BRL, ZAR, and INR. US inflation and retail sales data will likely set the tone for EM. Also, the US fiscal debate is set to continue this week, so expect lots of choppy trading across many markets.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

China announced that it will remove foreign ownership limits on banks and other measures to open up the financial sector. Central Bank of Turkey lowered commercial bank FX reserve requirements in an effort to support the lira. US-Turkey relations appear to be thawing slightly. Middle East tensions are rising on a variety of fronts. Argentina central bank unexpectedly hiked rates again.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX ended the week under pressure. News of the Venezuela debt restructuring was digested well, but sentiment went south as the day wore on. Weakness was concentrated in the weakest links TRY, BRL, RUB, and ZAR, while MXN and COP were dragged along for the ride. We see EM selling pressures persisting into 2018.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Russia’s Finance Ministry announced plans to increase its dollar. purchases in November. Bahrain has reportedly asked its Gulf allies for financial assistance. S&P upgraded Argentina a notch to B+ with stable outlook. Brazil raised BRL6.15 bln ($1.9 bln) by auctioning off the rights to explore 6 of the 8 deep-water oil blocks. Venezuela bowed to the inevitable, announcing that it would have to restructure its debt.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

EM FX gained some limited traction Friday but still capped off another awful week. So far this quarter, the worst EM performers are TRY (-6%), MXN (-5%), ZAR (-4%), COP, and BRL (both -2.5%). We expect these currencies to remain under pressure as political concerns are unlikely to dissipate anytime soon.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

President Xi Jinping’s concepts of socialist thinking were written into China’s constitution. Malaysia Prime Minister Najib presented an expansionary budget for 2018 ahead of elections. Czech billionaire Andrej Babis’ ANO party won the elections. South Africa’s mid-term budget statement acknowledged the deteriorating outlook but offered little in the way of solutions. Press reports suggest Germany is working to cut funding for Turkish banks.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX ended the week on a soft note. Indeed, nearly every EM currency was down for the entire week, led by ZAR, BRL, and TRY. While higher US rates will pressure EM FX as a whole, we think heightend political risk will continue to hit these three currencies particularly hard, plus perhaps MXN too.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX closed the week on a firm note, as softer than expected US CPI data weighed on the dollar. We continue to believe that investors are underestimating the Fed’s tightening potential. Meanwhile, idiosyncratic political risk remains high for MXN, TRY, and ZAR.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Thailand announced general elections will be held in November 2018. Czech police filed criminal charges against ANO leader Andrej Babis. South Africa President Zuma may face corruption charges that were previously dropped. The US suspended visa services for travelers from Turkey. Kenyan opposition candidate Odinga withdrew from a redo of the annulled presidential election. Saudi Arabia will take a more gradual approach to removing fuel subsidies. Former Mexican First Lady Zavala said she’s leaving PAN to run as an independent.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX ended the week under pressure, as US data points to a rate hike in December and perhaps more in 2018. FOMC minutes this Wednesday will be closely studied for clues. US retail sales and CPI data Friday will also be important. We believe the most vulnerable currencies in this environment are ZAR and TRY, but one could also add MXN and perhaps RUB to that mix too.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

In the EM equity space as measured by MSCI, China (+4.1%), South Africa (+3.2%), and Hungary (+2.4%) have outperformed this week, while Egypt (-2.8%), Qatar (-2.7%), and Mexico (-1.7%) have underperformed. To put this in better context, MSCI EM rose 1.9% this week while MSCI DM rose 0.6%.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX firmed Friday, but capped off a bad week overall. US jobs data this Friday is unlikely to provide much clarity on Fed policy, though we think it remains on track to hike again in December. The Fed’s balance sheet reduction will start this month. We remain negative on EM, and believe selling pressures are likely to persist in Q4.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

India Prime Minister Modi announced an INR163.2 bln program to deliver electricity to all households. Poland’s President Duda is trying to reach a compromise on judicial reforms. Fitch raised the outlook on Russia’s BBB- rating from stable to positive. Saudi Arabia announced it will remove the ban on women driving. South Africa’s biggest labor organization stepped up its opposition to President Zuma.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX was mostly firmer on Friday, but capped off a week of broad-based losses. US rates gave back some of post-FOMC rise, and that weighed on the dollar. Not much in the way of US data until Friday’s core PCE reading and Chicago PMI.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

China plans to issue its first USD-denominated bond since 2004. China’s largest banks banned North Koreans from opening new accounts. The UN Security Council approved new sanctions on North Korea. Relations between Poland and the European Commission remain tense. Brazil’s central bank appears to be signaling discomfort with ongoing BRL strength.

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Emerging Markets: Preview for the Week Ahead

EM FX ended the week on a mixed note, but still capped off a strong week overall. US data this week could challenge the market’s dovish take on the Fed. For now, though, the global liquidity outlook still seems to favor further gains in EM.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

South Korea completed installation of the THAAD missile shield. Indonesia is considering issuing its first global IDR-denominated sovereign bonds. Taiwan is undergoing a cabinet shuffle. Brazil has seen some positive political developments.
Brazil’s central bank signaled that the easing cycle is nearing an end and that the pace of easing will slow. Chile’s central bank boosted its growth forecasts.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

India Prime Minister Modi has started a cabinet shuffle. Freeport McMorAn ceded control of the world’s second largest copper mine to the Indonesian government. Central Bank of Russia took over Bank Otkritie, once Russia’s largest private bank. Kenya’s top court nullified last month’s presidential election. Fitch cut Qatar’s rating by one notch to AA- with negative outlook.

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Emerging Market: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX ended last week on a strong note, buoyed by perceived dovishness from Yellen at the Jackson Hole symposium. However, US jobs data this Friday could test the market’s convictions. Within EM, data are likely to support our view that EM central banks can retain their largely dovish posture into 2018.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Tensions on the Korean peninsula are still rising. Hong Kong boosted its 2017 growth forecast. S&P affirmed Israel’s A+ rating but moved the outlook from stable to positive. The corruption investigation against Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has intensified. South Africa’s parliament voted down the no confidence motion against President Zuma. Argentina officials are taking steps to support the peso. Banco de Mexico has ended its tightening cycle.

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Emerging Markets: The Week Ahead

EM FX appears to be rolling over (see our recent piece “Is EM FX Finally Turning?”). Technical indicators are stretched as many EM currencies bump up against strong resistance levels.  Strong US jobs data is bringing Fed tightening back into focus.  We think ZAR could be shaping up to be the canary in a coalmine. It was -3% vs. USD last week and by far the worst in EM.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

The Reserve Bank of India started an easing cycle by cutting all policy rates 25 bp. Bank Indonesia has tilted more dovish after signaling earlier this year that the easing cycle was over. Czech National Bank became the first in Europe to hike. Political risk is rising in Israel. President Trump signed the Russia sanctions bill. Nigeria is trying to unify its system of multiple exchange rates.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX was mixed last week, as markets await fresh drivers. Jobs report this Friday could provide greater clarity with regards to Fed policy. BOE and RBA meet but aren’t expected to change policy. Data is likely to reinforce the notion that inflation remains low in EM, allowing those central banks to remain dovish. Czech National Bank is the main exception, as it may start the tightening cycle this week.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Indonesia’s parliament approved a revised budget for 2017 that sees a wider deficit. Pakistan’s Supreme Court has ousted Prime Minister Sharif. Polish President Duda vetoed portions of the judicial reform bill submitted by the Law and Justice party.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX was mixed on Friday, but largely firmer over the entire week. Top performers were BRL, KRW, and ZAR, while the worst were ARS, MXN, and RUB. FOMC meeting this week poses some potential risks to the global liquidity story that’s supporting EM. Within EM, the low inflation/easy monetary policy narrative should continue with data and events this week.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

South Korea proposed resuming military and humanitarian exchanges with North Korea. The European Union may sanction Poland over its controversial judicial overhaul. Turkish Prime Minister Yildirim announced a cabinet shuffle after meeting with President Erdogan. Turkey’s worsening relations with Germany will come with economic costs. South African Reserve Bank surprised markets by starting the easing cycle with a 25 bp cut to 7.0%.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

Emerging Markets FX ended the week on a firm note, helped by softer than expected US data. Indeed, EM FX was up across the board for the entire week and was led by BRL, MXN, and ZAR. The ECB meeting this week will draw some interest, especially after the BOC last week became the second major central bank to hike rates.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif may face trial on corruption charges. Turkey will reportedly pay $2.5 bln for a Russian missile defense system. Nigeria said it was willing to cap its oil production to support OPEC efforts to cut global supply. Former Brazilian President Lula was sentenced to nine and half years in prison on corruption charges. S&P downgraded Chile one notch to A+ with a stable outlook.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX closed last week on a firm note, as the stronger than expected US jobs gain was mitigated by lower than expected average hourly earnings. Still, we believe that global liquidity conditions will continue to move against EM, as the Fed continues tightening and others join in.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

The US confirmed North Korea’s claims that it tested an intercontinental ballistic missile. The Pakistani rupee was devalued, prompting a new central bank governor to be named. Vietnam’s central bank cut interest rates for the first time since March 2014. Egypt’s central bank surprised markets with a 200 bp hike to 18.75%. South Africa’s ruling ANC reportedly proposed that SARB be state-owned. Petrobras announced two separate cuts to fuel prices.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX ended the week on a mixed note, as investors await fresh drivers. US jobs data on Friday could provide more clarity on Fed policy and the US economy. Within EM, many countries are expected to report lower inflation readings for June that support the view that most EM central banks will remain in dovish mode for now. We remain cautious on the EM asset class near-term.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Stock Markets Emerging Markets, June 28

Chinese President Xi visited Hong Kong for the first time. The US has proposed $1.3 bln of arms sales to Taiwan. The Egyptian government raised fuel and cooking gas prices. significantly as part of the IMF program. South Africa’s parliament has scheduled the no confidence vote on President Zuma. Brazil’s central bank lowered its inflation target. Brazil after President Temer was charged with corruption.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX ended last week on a firm note, though most were still down for the week as a whole. Commodity prices stabilized, but the balance remains fragile, in our view. We remain cautious, especially with regards to the high beta currencies such as BRL, MXN, TRY, and ZAR.

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Emerging Markets: What’s Changed

MSCI announced it will include 222 China Large Cap A-shares in its Emerging Markets Index. Czech central bank is pushing out rate hike expectations. Hungary central bank eased again using unconventional measures. MSCI announced that it has launched a consultation on reclassification of Saudi Arabia from Standalone to Emerging Market status.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX was mixed Friday to cap off a mostly lower week. Obviously, we’re seeing a bit of a washout in EM after the hawkish FOMC. Market was overly complacent and very long EM going into the FOMC meeting. The big question is how deep this selloff gets. For the better part of this year, EM dips have been met with renewed buying. We remain cautious on EM and think that investors should avoid the high beta currencies like ZAR, TRY, BRL, MXN.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Philippines central bank forecast a current account deficit this year, the first one in fifteen years. Kuwait refrained from matching the Fed’s 25 bp hike. The US Senate voted overwhelmingly to step up sanctions against Iran and Russia. Moody’s downgraded South Africa by a notch to Baa3 with negative outlook. South Africa plans to require that all local mines be 30% black-owned.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX was mixed last week but in general held up well in the aftermath of Super Thursday. The global backdrop seems relatively benign right now despite the FOMC meeting this week. We still think investors have to be picky. TRY, ZAR, and BRL at current levels seem too rich given the underlying risks in all three.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

The Reserve Bank of India cut its inflation forecast for FY2017/18. South Korean President Moon suspended the installation of the remaining components of the THAAD missile shield. S&P cut Qatar one notch to AA-. Turkey looks likely to get caught up in yet another regional conflict. Brazil’s structural reform agenda has been delayed as President Temer remains on the ropes.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX closed last week on a firm note as weak US jobs data supported the notion that the Fed will find it hard to tighten in H2. No major US data will be reported this week and the FOMC embargo for the June 14will be in effect. As such, there is little on the near-term horizon that might help the dollar, so it’s likely to remain on the defensive this week.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

The Indonesian cabinet is discussing revisions to the 2017 state budget. The Thai central bank plans to reform some FX rules. South African President Zuma survived the no confidence vote within his own ANC. Brazil’s central bank signaled a slower pace of easing ahead after it cut 100 bp again. Moody’s cut the outlook on Brazil’s Ba2 rating from stable to negative.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX closed last week on a mixed note, with markets struggling to find a compelling investment theme. The US jobs data this week could provide some more clarity on Fed policy. We still think markets are still underestimating political risk in the big EM countries, including Brazil (Moody’s outlook moved to negative), Mexico (election in state of Mexico), South Africa (ANC debates Zuma’s fate), and Turkey (ongoing crackdown on opposition).

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX ended last week on a firm note, shrugging off political risk that consumed markets earlier in the week. With US rates remaining low, the dollar remains under pressure against the majors, and so EM FX is likely to benefit also. Yet we warn investors not to jump back into EM countries that are inherently riskier, such as Brazil, South Africa, and Turkey. We continue to favor Asia in the current environment.

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Emerging Markets: What Has Changed

Stock Markets Emerging Markets, May 17

China’s government approved the creation of a bond link between Hong Kong and the mainland. S&P upgraded Indonesia one notch to investment grade BBB- with stable. Fitch revised the outlook on Vietnam’s BB- rating from stable to positive. Egypt will announce a package of social spending soon. Moody’s changed the outlook on Poland’s A2 rating from negative to stable.

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Emerging Market Preview: Week Ahead

EM FX ended last week on a firmer note, helped by lower US rates and softer than expected CPI and retail sales data. Stabilizing commodity prices also helped EM. Yet these supportive conditions seem unlikely to persist, and we remain defensive on EM.

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Emerging Markets: What Has Changed

Moon Jae-in was elected president of South Korea. Philippine President Duterte named Nestor Espenilla as central bank governor. Nigerian President Buhari traveled to London for a follow-up to the initial medical visit earlier this year. Market expectations for 2018 inflation in Brazil rose for the first time in more than a year. Peru’s central bank unexpectedly started the easing cycle with a 25 bp cut to 4.0%.

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Emerging Markets Preview

EM FX got some limited traction as the week closed, helped by stabilizing commodity prices.  However, oil, copper, and iron ore have all broken important technical levels that suggest further weakness ahead.  We also think the FOMC and jobs data support our view that the next Fed hike will be in June.  This backdrop should keep EM on the defensive this week.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Relations between China and North Korea appear to be worsening. The THAAD missile shield has been deployed earlier than expected in South Korea. An amendment to India’s Banking Regulation Act gives the RBI more power to address bad loans. Tensions are rising between Czech Prime Minister Sobotka and Finance Minister Babis. Brazil pension reform bill was passed 23-14 in the lower house special committee.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX ended last week on a mixed note. Indeed, the week and the month were also very much mixed for EM, reflecting a variety of global and country-specific drivers impacting these countries. This week’s US jobs data could bring Fed tightening back as a major driver for EM.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Moody’s moved the outlook on Vietnam’s B1 rating from stable to positive. Nigeria’s central bank introduced a new FX window for portfolio investors. Moody’s moved the outlook on Romania’s Baa3 rating from positive to stable. Central Bank of Russia accelerated its easing cycle. Central Bank of Turkey delivered a hawkish surprise. Brazil’s lower house easily approved the labor reforms, but popular resistance is rising.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX was mostly firmer last week, helped by Trump comments and softer US data. Whilst this seems positive for EM, the global backdrop remains uncertain. Some in EM (Russia, Turkey, and Korea) remain vulnerable to geopolitical concerns. In addition, idiosyncratic domestic political risks remain in play for other EM countries, such as Brazil, South Africa, and Turkey. We expect the investment climate for EM to remain challenging this week.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Malaysia’s central bank said it will allow investors to fully hedge their currency exposure. Egypt declared a 3-month state of emergency after two deadly church attacks. South Africa’s parliamentary no confidence vote has been delayed. Argentina central bank surprised markets with a 150 bp hike to 26.25%. Brazil central bank accelerated the easing cycle with a 100 bp cut in the Selic rate.

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Emerging Markets Preview for the Week Ahead

EM FX ended the week on a soft note, as the weaker than expected US jobs data was unable to derail the dollar’s rally. For the week, the worst performers were ZAR (-3%), TRY (-2.5%), and RUB (-2%). CZK bucked the trend, rising after the CNB exited the cap. This week, higher inflation readings in the US could draw market focus back to Fed tightening, which would be negative for EM.

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End of EUR/CZK peg: Czech National Bank

The Czech National Bank (CNB) ended the EUR/CZK floor today. Timing was a little earlier than expected, but rising inflation and a robust economy warranted it.  We think it’s too soon to talk about a rate hike, as we expect the koruna to overshoot to the strong side.  

POLICY OUTLOOK

Price pressures are rising, with CPI accelerating to 2.5% y/y in February.  March data will be reported April 10, with consensus at 2.6% y/y.  If so, this would be the highest rate since November 2012 and is creeping closer to the top of the 1-3% target range.  Given low base effects from 2016, we see risks that inflation moves above the target range this year.  Core CPI and PPI measures are also accelerating.

The worsening inflation outlook

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Reserve Bank of India surprised markets with the start of the tightening cycle. The Czech National Bank (CNB) ended the EUR/CZK floor. Israeli central bank said it won’t hike rates until Q2 2018. Both S&P and Fitch cut South Africa’s rating one notch to sub-investment grade BB+. Moody’s put South Africa’s Baa2 rating on review for a downgrade.

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Emerging Market: Preview for the Week Ahead

EM FX was mixed last week. The rebound in oil helped some, such as COP, RUB, and MXN. On the other hand, idiosyncratic political risks weighed on South Africa. This week could pose a challenge to EM, with lots of Fed speakers, FOMC minutes, and US jobs data.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Former Korean President Park was arrested. Hungary’s central bank was more dovish than expected. South African President Zuma finally fired Finance Minister Gordhan. Brazil’s meat industry may have seen the worst of the scandal. Banco de Mexico slowed the pace of tightening.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX ended the week on a firm note. Indeed, virtually all of EM was up against the dollar last week, led by ZAR and MXN. BRL and PHP were the laggards. It remains to be seen how markets react to the failure to pass the health care reform in the US. Will Trump move on the tax reform? Can the Republicans proceed with its agenda in light of the fissures within the party?

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Reserve Bank of India will introduce a new monetary policy tool. Moody’s raised the outlook on Russia’s Ba1 rating from stable to positive. Fitch cut Saudi Arabia’s rating a notch to A+. Moody’s cut the outlook on Turkey’s Ba1 rating from stable to negative. China has temporarily suspended beef imports from Brazil.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

global

EM FX had a stellar week, ending on a strong note in the aftermath of what the market perceived as a dovish Fed hike Wednesday. Every EM currency except ARS was up on the week vs. USD, with the best performers ZAR, TRY, COP, and MXN. There are some risks ahead for EM this week, with many Fed speakers lined up and perhaps willing to push back against the market’s dovish take on the FOMC.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

The PBOC increased the rates it charges for OMO and MLF by 10 bp. Indian Prime Minister Modi’s BJP won elections in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Czech central bank broached the possibility of a koruna cap exit later than mid-2017. Kuwait became the first OPEC member to call for extended output cuts.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX ended last week on a firm note despite the strong US jobs data, with the dollar succumbing to some “buy the rumor, sell the fact” price action.  We think the dollar should recover as the week begins, as it seems risky to be short/underweight dollars going into the FOMC meeting.  With the Fed poised to hike 3 or perhaps 4 times this year, we don’t think EM FX can continue to rally the way it has so far this year.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

North Korean banks subject to international sanctions have been banned from using Swift. Korea’s Constitutional Court upheld Parliament’s motion to impeach President Park. Singapore eased some property market curbs after a three-year decline in home prices. Egypt partially reversed a cut in bread subsidies. Nigeria’s President Buhari returned to the nation after spending nearly two months in the UK. Moody’s moved its outlook on Argentina’s B3 rating from stable to positive.

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Emerging Market Preview for the Week Ahead

EM FX was mostly softer last week, though it ended the week firmer, buoyed by outsized MXN gains Friday. The Fed is sending very strong signals for a March hike, which should keep EM FX on its back foot. However, with the March 15 FOMC embargo coming into effect, there will be no Fed speakers after Kashkari on Monday. Jobs data on Friday will be the highlight, but given the Fed’s signals, we do not think a soft report will derail a hike next week.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed?

A Korean special prosecutor indicted Samsung chief Jay Y. Lee on bribery charges. Korean press is reporting that China has told its travel agents to halt sales of holiday packages to South Korea. Bulgaria’s interim government said it may apply to join the eurozone within a month. South Africa’s main labor union Cosatu accepted a government-proposed minimum wage.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX ended last week on a soft note despite lower US rates. The dollar regained some traction that it lost over the course of the week, when markets pushed out Fed tightening beyond March. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin also seemed to push out fiscal stimulus. There is a full slate of Fed speakers this week, and Wednesday sees the release of the Fed’s Beige book that was prepared for the March 15 FOMC meeting.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

PBOC tweaked its process for determining the yuan reference rate. Singapore is reportedly studying measures to boost revenue, including higher taxes. Moody’s upgraded the outlook on Russia’s Ba1 rating from negative to stable. Nigerian President Buhari extended his stay abroad. Nigerian central bank tweaked its FX restrictions, but was aimed at retail demand. Brazil political risk is back on the table. Brazil’s central bank hinted at a faster pace of easing. Banco de Mexico announced a new $20 bln FX hedging facility.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX ended last week on a soft note, as some risk off sentiment crept back into the markets. The dollar gained broadly on Friday despite lower US rates as bonds rallied, the yen gained and equities sold off. Markit PMI for February Tuesday and FOMC minutes Wednesday could give the markets some further clues regarding Fed policy.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Head of Samsung Group Jay Y. Lee was formally arrested on allegations of bribery, perjury, and embezzlement. The assassination of Kim Jong Un’s half-brother suggests the political situation in North Korea may be heating up. The Polish central bank is tilting more hawkish. The Turkish central bank said it will allow domestic companies to use liras to repay export loans.

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Emerging Market Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX ended last week on a firm note. Falling US rates allowed many foreign currencies to gain some traction. This week, a heavy US data slate is likely to test the market’s convictions on the Fed, with January PPI, CPI, IP, and retail sales all being reported. Yellen also testifies before Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Emerging Markets: What Has Changed

Reserve Bank of India signaled an end to the easing cycle. S&P moved the outlook on Indonesia’s BBB- rating from stable to positive. The ruling Law and Justice party in Poland may be backing off of plans to force banks to convert $36 bln in foreign currency loans. Romanian Justice Minister Lordache resigned. Local press is reporting that Brazil’s central bank may cut the 2019 inflation target from 4.5% to 4.25%.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM ended the week on a firm note, with markets digesting what they perceived as a dovish Fed bias. We disagree, and continue to believe that markets are underestimating the Fed’s capacity to tighten this year. EM FX could continue gaining some traction if the dollar correction continues, but we think US interest rates will ultimately move higher and put pressure on EM once again.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Philippine Environment Department suspended 5 mines and closed 21 after a nationwide audit. The Turkish central bank raised its end-2017 forecast from 6.5% to 8% due largely to the weak lira. Central Bank of Turkey finally got around to releasing the schedule of its MPC meetings this year. Fitch downgraded Turkey last Friday to sub-investment grade BB+, as expected. Allies of Brazil President Michel Temer now head up both houses of congress. Press reports that the Mexican government has told state governors that it is canceling the planned gasoline price increase tomorrow.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

squeezeball

EM was truly mixed last week, pulled in both directions by both idiosyncratic risks and global developments. MXN, BRL, and ZAR were the best performers on the week, while TRY, HUF, and RON were the worst. MXN gained despite signs that Trump will maintain a bellicose stance towards Mexico, but we think the peso remains vulnerable to further selling.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

globalhealth

Press reports suggest that China’s central bank has ordered banks to limit new loans in Q1. Fitch revised the outlook on Nigeria’s B+ rating from stable to negative. Russia announced details of the FX purchase plan. Brazil’s central bank confirmed it will simplify the reserve requirement system for banks. S&P cut the outlook on Chile’s AA- rating from stable to negative.

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Emerging Markets: Preview for the Week Ahead

waterworld

EM FX ended last week on a firm not, led by a huge MXN rally on Inauguration Day. We believe that the peso rally was largely driven by positioning and technicals, and so we view Friday’s gains as a correction since the fundamental outlook remains unchanged. Indeed, we think the broader EM rally will be short-lived too, as US interest rates remain elevated. The 10-year yield flirted with the 2.5% level, and we believe it will eventually head even higher.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

balls

Prime Minister Phuc said Vietnam will ease the limits on foreign ownership of banks this year. Russia’s government is working on measures to limit ruble volatility, including possible FX purchases. Turkey’s central bank start auctioning FX swaps to help support the lira. Brazil’s central bank resumed rolling over FX swaps. Brazilian Supreme Court Judge Zavascki was tragically killed in a plane accident. Chile’s central bank started the easing cycle. Mexico significantly lowered its FDI forecast for 2017.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX ended the week mixed. Markets continue to grapple with the outlook for the so-called Trump Trade, which we believe is intact. MXN and TRY recovered from the relentless selling of recent days, but both remain vulnerable. Indeed, if the jump in US yields on Friday continues this week, most of EM should remain under pressure.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

world

China’s government has asked banks to balance their yuan inflows and outflows. Indonesia partially lifted a ban on exports of nickel ore and bauxite. Czech President Zeman picked two new central bankers as the end of the koruna cap looms. Turkish central bank is taking limited measures to support the lira. Turkey’s parliament voted 338-134 to discuss proposed constitutional changes that would increase the power of the presidency.

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Emerging Market: Week Ahead Preview

earth

EM FX was a mixed bag over the past week. Dollar softness vs. the majors allowed some in EM to gain traction, with ZAR and PEN the biggest gainers since Christmas. On the other hand, ARS TRY, and INR were the biggest losers. With markets coming back to life, we expect EM to remain broadly under pressure as the same major investment themes remain in place.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

China President Xi raised the possibility of sub-6.5% growth. Fitch moved the outlook on Indonesia’s BBB- rating from stable to positive. The Philippine central bank raised its 2017 inflation forecasts for 2017 and 2018.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM ended the weak on a soft note, as the hawkish Fed decision continued to have reverberations for global markets. Worst performers in EM last week were CLP (-3.3%), ZAR (-2%), and KRW (-1.5%). With little fundamental news expected this week, markets may take a more consolidative tone, especially with the holidays approaching. However, we continue to believe that the global backdrop for EM remains negative.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed?

World Map

China will raise the sales tax on small cars to 7.5% in 2017. New methodology used by Turkstat to measure Turkish GDP has led to significant upward revisions. Turkish authorities are growing more concerned about the weak lira. Fitch moved the outlook on Chile. Chile’s central bank shifted to an expansionary policy bias. Colombia selected Juan Jose Echavarria to be the new central bank governor. Fitch revised the outlook on Mexico’s BBB+ rating from stable to negative. Banco de Mexico hiked rates by a larger than expected 50 bp.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

After the ECB meeting, we saw curve steepening in the eurozone. This is on top of curve steepening in the US since the elections. While we are nowhere near the magnitude of the 2013 Taper Tantrum, these yield curve dynamics remain negative for EM bonds and EM FX. EM equities are a different matter, supported in part by the continued post-election rally in DM equity markets. Higher commodity should also help insulate some EM countries from the selling pressure.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said he won’t seek a second term. Korea’s parliament voted 234-56 to impeach President Park. Czech National Bank raised the possibility of negative rates to help manage the currency. A Brazilian Supreme Court justice removed Senate chief Renan Calheiros from his post, but was later overturned by the full court. Brazil central bank signaled a possibly quicker easing cycle.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM remains a mixed bag. Despite the negative connotations of a rising US rate environment, EM gathered an element of stability last week as the dollar consolidated its recent gains. Rising commodity prices are also helping EM at the margin, with RUB and COP amongst the best last week on higher oil and CLP on higher copper.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM ended last week on a somewhat firmer note, though we note divergences remain in place. For the week, ZAR and KRW performed the best while TRY and BRL were the worst. US jobs data Friday will draw some attention, though a December Fed rate hike is pretty much fully priced in.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Philippine President Duterte will reportedly ask central bank. Governor Tetangco to stay on for a third term. South Africa’s government has proposed a national minimum wage. Fitch moved the outlook on South Africa’s BBB- from stable to negative. Turkey’s central bank surprised markets with a 50 bp hike in its benchmark repo rate to 8.0%. Political risk in Brazil is rising as President Temer’s top aide was implicated in an influence peddling scandal.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX ended the week on a soft note, as higher US rates continue to take a toll. EM policymakers are getting more concerned about currency weakness, with Brazil, Malaysia, Korea, India, and Indonesia all taking action to help support their currencies. If the EM sell-off continues as we expect, more EM central banks are likely to act to slow the moves.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Malaysia appears to have enacted a subtle change in FX policy. Turkey cut foreign currency reserve requirements in an effort to increase the supply of foreign exchange. Brazil’s central bank suspended the sale of reverse currency swaps and started selling new regular swaps (equivalent to selling USD). Colombia reached a new peace agreement with FARC rebels. Mexico’s central bank hiked cash rates by 50 bp.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

Planet Earth

EM should trade firmer this week on news over the weekend that the FBI said its conclusion on Clinton’s emails remained unchanged. That should lift the cloud of suspicion that grew when the FBI said new emails had been uncovered. With risk appetite likely to rebound a bit, the Mexican peso should benefit the most as the week gets under way.

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Emerging Market: Week Ahead Preview

EM ended the week on a soft note, as markets were taken off guard by news that the FBI was reopening its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails. Risk off trading hit MXN particularly hard. FOMC meeting this week should be a non-event, but markets are likely to remain volatile ahead of the November 8 elections in the US.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Chinese President Xi has strengthened his grip on power. Mozambique said it is in “debt distress” and hired advisors for a debt restructuring. South Africa revised its macro forecasts in the Finance Ministry’s Medium-Term Budget Program.Chile’s ruling center-left coalition lost municipal elections.In the EM equity space as measured by MSCI, Poland (+3.2%), Chile (+3.1%), and Hungary (+0.9%) have outperformed this week, while the Philippines (-3.2%), Peru (-2.2%), and China (-1.9%) have underperformed.  To put this in better context, MSCI EM fell -0.8% this week while MSCI DM fell -0.4%.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM FX gained a little traction on Friday, but capped a week of steady losses. As the US election and FOMC meeting next month get closer, we believe markets and risk appetite will remain volatile. So far, September data from the US does not suggest any urgency to hike in November, and so we continue to believe that December is most likely for another hike.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Fitch upgraded Taiwan by a notch. Thailand has a new king. South Africa’s Finance Minister Gordhan has been summoned to appear in court to face charges. Brazil’s Congress voted to approve a constitutional amendment to freeze government spending in real terms for at least the next 10 years. Brazil’s Petrobras cut fuel prices and introduced a new pricing mechanism.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

Despite the weaker than expected US jobs report, the dollar remains firm and EM is ending the week on a soft note. The main culprit was higher US rates, with the 2-year yield moving up to 0.85% and is the highest since early June. Concerns about Brexit impact and as well the health of European banks remain ongoing and could weigh on risk sentiment this coming week. Lastly, oil may come under more pressure after Russia said it sees no deal with OPEC at next week’s World Energy Congress meeting in Turkey.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

In the EM equity space as measured by MSCI, Brazil (+5.3%), Czech Republic (+4.4%), and Hungary (+3.0%) have outperformed this week, while Peru (-3.3%), UAE (-2.2%), and South Africa (-1.4%) have underperformed.  To put this in better context, MSCI E…

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Tensions between India and Pakistan are rising. The Philippine government ordered the suspension of three quarters of the nation’s mines. Czech central bank sounds more confident of the cap exit. Poland’s Finance Minister Szalamacha was sacked. Moody’s downgraded Turkey one notch to Ba1 with a stable outlook. The Brazilian central bank’s quarterly inflation report set the table for the easing cycle to start.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM initially benefitted from the FOMC decision, but softened into the weekend. One culprit was lower oil prices, as reports suggest an output deal is unlikely at the OPEC meeting this week in Algeria. But it wasn’t just EM, as the greenback closed firmer against the majors as well. We still believe that risk and EM should do fine over the next few weeks, as the Fed basically set a two-month window of steady rates.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

In the EM local currency bond space, Brazil (10-year yield -36 bp), Turkey (-26 bp), and Hungary (-17 bp) have outperformed this week, while Ukraine (10-year yield +9 bp), Mexico (+2 bp), and China (flat) have underperformed.  

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM ended the week on a soft note. Volatility is likely to remain high as markets are jittery and choppy ahead of the BOJ/FOMC meetings on Thursday. Dollar gains were broad-based last week, but EM certainly underperformed. China markets will reopen after a two-day holiday, but good news out of the mainland is doing little to help EM.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

The IEA forecast that the surplus in global oil markets will last for longer than previously thought. Philippine President Duterte called for US troops to leave the southern island of Mindanao. Relations between Poland and the EU are deteriorating. Former head of Brazil’s lower house Eduardo Cunha was expelled and banned from public office for eight years. Brazil’s central bank cut the amount of daily reverse swap contracts sold to 5,000.

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM ended last week on a soft note. Perhaps it was the North Korean nuclear test (see below). Perhaps it was disappointment in the ECB or rising Fed tightening odds. Whatever the trigger was, EM FX weakness persisted and appears likely to carry over into this week.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

India has a new central bank head. North Korea detonated a nuclear device. The Turkish government may be eyeing the central bank for the next purge. Mexican Finance Minister Videgaray resigned. Incoming Mexican Finance Minister Meade announced new spending cuts.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM ended last week on a soft note, as Fed tightening expectations ratcheted up.The December Fed funds futures contract has an implied yield of 0.5%,the highest since June 2. Note that on June 3, US rates plunged after the May jobs shocker (+38k). If the hawkish Fed storyline can be maintained, then EM will have trouble getting traction. This Friday’s jobs report for August will be key, with consensus at +185k vs. +255k in July.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor Patel has been named to succeed Governor Rajan. Political risk is back in South Africa. The Colombian government and the FARC rebels have reached a final peace agreement. S&P cut the outlook on Mexico’s BBB+ rating from stable to negative.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM ended last week on a soft note.Fed tightening expectations were buffeted first by hawkish Dudley comments and then by the more balanced FOMC minutes. On net, the markets adjusted the odds for tightening by year-end a little higher from the previous week, and stand at the highest odds since the Brexit vote. Yet despite the strong jobs data in June and July, odds of a move on September 21 or November 2 are still low, with the December 14 meeting seen as the most likely for the next hike.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

China unveiled a second equity link that will allow foreign investors to buy local stocks with fewer restrictions. Saudi Arabia will allow qualified foreign investors to subscribe to local IPOs starting this January. South Africa’s two main opposition parties agreed to informally band together in local governments. The Brazilian central bank decreased the daily intervention amount to 10,000 reverse swap contracts from 15,000 before, just a week after it increased that amount from 10,000.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX ended the week on a soft note, despite the weaker than expected US retail sales report. Official concern about strong exchange rates is beginning to emerge. First it was Korea, then on Friday it was Brazil as acting President Temer said his country needs to maintain a balanced exchange rate, neither too weak nor too strong. We expect more pushback to emerge if the current
rally is extended. Still, the global liquidity outlook for now favors EM and “risk.”

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

S&P upgraded Korea a notch to AA with a stable outlook. Voters passed the constitutional referendum in Thailand by a wide margin. The IMF and Egypt have reached a staff-level agreement on a 3-year $12 bln. loan program. Argentina’s central bank will begin using a new overnight rate to manage monetary policy. Political uncertainty has returned to Brazil.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM ended last week on a firm note, despite the stronger than expected July jobs report. As we suspected, one strong US data point is not yet enough to derail the dovish Fed outlook. With the RBA and BOE cutting last week and the RBNZ expected to cut this week, the global liquidity backdrop remains supportive for EM and risk.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

India’s upper house approved the creation of a Good and Services Tax (GST). The Polish government softened its stance on the proposed Swiss franc loan conversion plan. Support for South Africa’s ruling African. National Congress (ANC) appears to have fallen below 60% for the first time ever. Brazil’s Senate impeachment committee recommended putting President Rousseff on trial.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM ended last week on a firm note, helped by the weaker than expected US Q2 GDP report as well as the small bounce in oil. With the RBA and BOE expected to ease this week, the global liquidity backdrop remains favorable for EM and “risk.” US jobs report Friday will be very important for EM going forward. We get our first glimpse of the Chinese economy for July with the PMI readings this week.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Indonesian President Widodo shuffled his cabinet
Egypt has requested a three-year $12 bln loan from the IMF
Johannesburg Stock Exchange data on investment flows into South Africa was wrong
Fitch downgraded South Africa’s local currency rating by one notch to BBB- with a stable outlook
Fitch cut its outlook on Colombia’s BBB rating from stable to negative

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM ended the week on a soft note, as the dollar reasserted broad-based strength against most currencies. The FOMC meeting this week could see the Fed push back against the market’s dovish take on policy, in which case EM would be likely to remain under pressure.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

The New York Times reported that the US is preparing to seize $1 bln in assets tied to 1MDB. S&P downgraded Turkey a notch to BB with a negative outlook, citing political uncertainty. Turkish President Erdogan declared a three-month state of emergency. The Nigerian Naira weakened above 300 per dollar for the first time. Brazil’s central bank signaled a longer wait until it cuts rates.

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Some Thoughts on Turkey

INTRODUCTION After last Friday’s failed coup attempt in Turkey, a measure of calm has returned to global markets. We did not think Turkish developments have wide-reaching implications for EM assets, but we do remain very negative on Turkish assets in the wake of the coup and ongoing political uncertainty.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM ended last week on a soft note, due in large part to the attempted coup in Turkey. Weakness in the lira spilled over into wider EM weakness in thin Friday afternoon market conditions. The situation in Turkey has calmed, and so EM may gain some limited traction this week. However, that calm will likely be very fragile and so we retain a defensive posture with regards to EM.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM and other risk assets rallied on Friday after the strong US jobs data. It appears that markets are pricing in a benign backdrop for risk near-term; that is, the US economy is recovering but not by enough to warrant an imminent Fed rate hike. The July 27 meeting seems unlikely, and so the next likely window would be September 21. Yet EM typically weakens in the run-up to FOMC meetings and so investors should be very careful about taking on too much risk.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

In the EM equity space as measured by MSCI, Hungary (+3.0%), UAE (+2.0%), and Qatar (+0.7%) have outperformed this week, while Mexico (-3.4%), South Africa (-2.1%), and Colombia (-1.7%) have underperformed. To put this in better context, MSCI EM fell -1.2% this week while MSCI DM fell -0.3%. In the EM local currency bond space, the Philippines (10-year yield -22 bp), Singapore (-12 bp), and Brazil (-11 bp) have outperformed this week, while Russia (10-year yield +17), Turkey (+12 bp), and Colombia (+8 bp) have underperformed.

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Emerging Markets: Preview for the Week Ahead

EM and risk recovered nicely from the Brexit turmoil last week. Yet we think markets are getting too carried away with the “low rates forever” theme and are likely underestimating the capability of the Fed to tighten before 2018. This Friday, the June jobs data could spark a shift in sentiment with a strong reading. Consensus is currently 175k jobs created, up from 38k in May.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Indonesia’s parliament approved a tax amnesty bill. Korea announced KRW20 trln ($17 bln) in fiscal stimulus. Czech President Zeman said a referendum on EU and NATO membership should be held Russia ended its tourism ban to Turkey. Brazil’s central bank is sending hawkish signals

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Emerging Market Preview: Week Ahead

The Brexit vote is a game-changer for EM. While the direct impact on EM is limited, the damage to market sentiment is undeniable. And to make matters worse, there will be a protracted period of uncertainty as the UK and the EU negotiate the divorce proceedings.

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

China granted US asset managers a CNY250 bln ($38 bln) quota under the existing QFII system
Bank of Korea surprised the market by delivering a 25 bp rate cut to 1.25%
Oman issued its first global …

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

Russian central bank meets Friday and is expected to keep rates steady at 11.0%.  However, the market is split.  Of the 25 analysts polled by Bloomberg, 13 see no move and 12 see a 50 bp cut to 10.5%.  The central bank has been on hold since the last…

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Emerging Market Preview

EM ended last week on a soft note.  The icing on the cake was Yellen’s speech Friday afternoon, which confirmed the more hawkish stance seen in the FOMC minutes and other recent official comments.  We warn tha…

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Korea will extend trading hours for stock and FX markets by 30 minutes effective August 1 The Monetary Authority of Singapore said it will withdraw BSI Bank’s license for breaches of money-laundering rules The US lifted a decades-old arms embargo on Vietnam The Nigerian central bank said it would allow “greater flexibility” in the FX …

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Emerging Market Preview for the Week Ahead

EM had another rocky week, but managed to end on a slightly firmer note Friday.  Market repricing of Fed tightening risk was the big driver last week, and that could carry over into this week.  There are several Fed speakers in the days ahead, capped…

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

The Philippine central bank moved to an interest rate corridor Saudi Arabia is preparing to sell its first global bond ever Transport Minister Yildirim, a close ally of President Erdogan, will become Turkey’s new Prime Minister The new Brazil cabinet continues to take shape with a market-friendly bias In the EM equity space, South Africa …

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Emerging Markets Preview: Week Ahead

EM ended last week on a soft note, and that weakness seems likely to carry over into this week. Dollar sentiment turned more positive after firm retail sales data on Friday, though US rates markets have yet to reflect any increase in Fed tightening expectations. Over the weekend,

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EM FX Technical Picture

Note that MSCI EM fell 21% from November 4 to January 21.  It then rallied 25% to challenge the November highs, but it has since fallen back.  MSCI EM has now retraced about a quarter of this year’s rally.  Major retracement objectives come in near 7…

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Emerging Market Preview for the Week Ahead

EM ended the week on a firm note, which should carry over into this week.  The biggest near-term risk to EM is the US jobs data on Friday, as the weekly claims data points to another strong gain.  Otherwise, the global liquidity backdrop remains EM-supportive. Thailand reported April CPI earlier today.  It rose 0.07% year-over-year.  …

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

(from my colleague Dr. Win Thin)

EM ended last week on a soft note.  Perhaps the main driver was rising US yields, as markets become wary of a more hawkish Fed this Wednesday.  Perhaps it was technical, as the EM rally became over-extended.  Wh…

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

(from my colleague Dr. Win Thin)

EM ended last week on a firm note.  Given the absence of any Fed-specific risks or any major US data releases, that firmness could carry over into this week.  The failure to reach an agreement in Doha by oil pro…

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Weekly Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Bank Indonesia will use the 7-day reverse repo rate as its new benchmark policy rate The ruling party in South Korea unexpectedly lost parliamentary elections The Monetary Authority of Singapore eased monetary policy to recession settings Turkey has nominated its next central bank chief The Brazilian special lower house committee voted 38-27 in favor of …

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

(from my colleague Dr. Win Thin)
Some dovish signals from the Fed and a bounce in oil prices helped EM end last week on a firm note.  This week, the US retail sales report could be important, and the same goes for CPI and PPI data too.  The Fed?…

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Weekly Emerging Markets: What has Changed

Bank Indonesia signaled it may pause its easing cycle.  Senior Deputy Governor Adityaswara said “We want to see the impact on growth and inflation before we do the next cut.”  Elsewhere, Governor Martowardojo said that the central bank must be carefu…

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM ended the week on a mixed note after posting strong post-FOMC gains. The bounce in risk seems likely to continue this week, with little on the horizon to derail it. Specific country risk remains in play, however, with heightened political concerns in Brazil and South Africa. Taiwan reports February export orders Monday, which are …

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Weekly Emerging Markets: What has Changed?

China press is reporting that policymakers are drafting rules for a so-called Tobin tax on yuan transactions.  This would seem to go against China’s efforts at making the yuan more accessible and liquid.  While it could deter speculative activity, th…

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Emerging Market Preview: Week Ahead

EM enjoyed an extended rally last week, and it should carry over to the early part of the week. The Wednesday FOMC meeting poses a risk to EM, especially if markets continue to price in a more hawkish Fed. The dot plots and press conference will be very important. BOE and the Norges Bank also …

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Emerging Markets Preview: Week Ahead

(from my colleague Dr. Win Thin)Risk sentiment ended last week on a strong note, and that should carry over into this week.  The global liquidity backdrop remains positive for EM, with the ECB widely expected to add more stimulus on Thursday.  I…

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

In the EM equity space, Brazil (+17.8%), Singapore (+7.1%), and India (+6.4%) have outperformed this week, while Qatar (+0.6%), Poland (+1.1%), and Malaysia (+1.7%) have underperformed.  To put this in better context, MSCI EM rose 6.8% this week whil…

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Emerging Market Preview, First Week of March

  EM ended last week on a soft note, due to a variety of both external and internal factors.  Firm US data continue to support our call for resumed Fed tightening, and this gave the dollar a bit of a bid.  With the dollar gaining against the majors, this spilled over into generalized dollar gains …

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Emerging Market Preview: Week Ahead

(from my colleague Dr. Win Thin)

We think that it’s still too early to say whether Friday’s price action was simply profit-taking ahead of the weekend, or the resumption of overall negative market sentiment.  We think the global backdrop rem…

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Weekly Emerging Markets: What has Changed?

In the EM equity space, Colombia (+0.3%), Chile (+0.2%), and Poland (-0.6%) have outperformed this week, while India (-6.6%), Czech Republic (-5.5%), and Hong Kong (-5.0%) have underperformed.  To put this in better context, MSCI EM fell -3.9% this w…

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

Czech Republic reported disappointing December industrial (0.7 vs 5.9% y/y consensus).  It reported a small trade surplus rather than the expected deficit.  It will report January CPI on Friday, and is expected to rise 0.5% y/y vs. 0.1% in December. …

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

In the EM equity space, UAE (+6.2%), Indonesia (+4.0%), and Qatar (+1.8%) have outperformed this week, while Hong Kong (-2.0%), Czech Republic (-1.9%), and Hungary (-1.2%) have underperformed.  To put this in better context, MSCI EM fell -0.1% this w…

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Emerging Market Preview: Week Ahead

As we suspected, the current EM bounce still has some legs.  The BOJ’s surprise easing helped EM and risk end on last week on a strong note, and we expect that to carry over into this week.  Within EM, we will start to see the first readings for January.     The biggest risk perhaps is the …

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Emerging Market Preview: Week Ahead

Singapore reports December CPI Monday, and is expected at -0.7% y/y vs. -0.8% in November.  It then reports December IP Tuesday, and is expected at -6.8% y/y vs. -5.5% in November.  Q4 unemployment will be reported Thursday.  With deflation risks per…

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

(from my colleagues Dr. Win Thin and Ilan Solot)

1) Mauricio Macri, the mayor of Buenos Aires, won the Argentine presidential election with 52% of vote 
2) The latest political developments in Brazil rocked asset prices 
3) The Brazilian cent…

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