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

Dollar Catches Modest Bid but Weakness to Resume

Cross-Market Implied Vol, 2020

Geopolitical tensions have risen after US officials accused Russia and Iran of meddling in the elections; the dollar has caught a modest bid today. Stimulus talks continue; Pelosi warned that a deal may not come together before the November 3 election; whether Republican Senators change their minds after the elections depends on the outcome.

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Drivers for the Week Ahead

Some are holding out hope but we think the stimulus package remains dead; Fed releases its Beige Book report Wednesday; there is a full slate of Fed speakers this week. Fed manufacturing surveys for October will continue to roll out; weekly jobless claims will be reported Thursday; BOC releases results of its Q3 Business Outlook Survey Monday.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

Risk assets are coming off a tough week. The dollar was bid across the board except for the yen, which outperformed slightly. The only EM currencies to gain against the dollar were KRW and CLP. The major US equity indices somehow managed to eke out very modest gains but stock markets across Europe sank as the viral spread threatens to slam economic activity again.

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Dollar Gains as Market Sentiment Goes South

FX Implied Volatility, 2019-2020

Virus restrictions across Europe continue to sour sentiment; the dollar is benefiting from the risk-off backdrop. The stimulus package is deader than Elvis; Fed manufacturing surveys for October will start to roll out; weekly jobless claims will be reported; Chile is expected to keep rates steady at 0.5%.

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Dollar Bounce Remains Modest as Headwinds Build

UK Hospital Admissions

The dollar is making a modest comeback; stimulus talks have hit a dead end; we get more US inflation readings for September. Brexit talks continue ahead of the EU summit Thursday and Friday; a new bill by the UK government could change the investment landscape in the country.

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Dollar Bleeding Stanched as Markets Search for Direction

2020 Senate Control

Markets have a bit of a risk-off feel today; the dollar bleeding has been stanched for now; IMF releases its updated World Economic Outlook. A stimulus package before the election appears doomed; Fed’s Barkin and Daly speak; a big data week for the US kicks off with September CPI today.

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Drivers for the Week Ahead

Dollar losses are accelerating; the virtual IMF/World Bank meetings begin Monday. A big stimulus package before the election still seems unlikely; there are a fair amount of Fed speakers during this holiday-shortened week.

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Dollar Slide Continues as US Fiscal Stimulus Remains Questionable

2020 Senate Control

The dollar remains heavy; stimulus talks may or may not be dead; the White House is still sending mixed signals. This is another quiet day in terms of US data; Canada reports September jobs data. We got some more eurozone IP readings for August; following Greece yesterday, it’s Italy’s turn today to register another record low for its 10-year bond yield.

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Dollar Remains Heavy as Markets Await Fresh Drivers

The US Vice Presidential debate was a comparatively cordial affair, though the impact on the election is likely to be limited; polls continue to move in favor of Biden, including in swing states. The weak dollar narrative under a Democratic sweep continues to play out; the outlook for fiscal stimulus is as cloudy as ever; FOMC minutes contained no big surprises.

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Dollar Softens and US Curve Steepens as Odds of Democratic Sweep Rise

2020 Presidential Elections Odds

The dollar remains under pressure; the US curve continues to steepen; a compromise on fiscal stimulus before the election still seems unlikely; this is another quiet day in terms of US data. President Lagarde said the ECB is prepared to inject fresh monetary stimulus to support the recovery; we expect the ECB to increase its PEPP in Q4.

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Drivers for the Week Ahead

The US political outlook has been upended by recent developments; lack of a significant safe haven bid for the dollar so far is telling. This is a very quiet week in terms of US data; FOMC minutes will be released Wednesday; there is a full slate of Fed speakers.

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Dollar Remains Soft but Sterling Pounded by Brexit Risks

2020 Senate Control

The dollar remains under pressure as market sentiment continue to improve; stimulus talks were extended. Two major US airlines announced significant job furloughs starting today; US data for September will continue  to roll out; weekly jobless claims will be reported.

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Dollar Softens as Risk-Off Sentiment Ebbs

EM FX YTD Performance, 2020

The dollar continues to soften as risk-off sentiment ebbs; the first presidential debate will take place tonight. House Democrats have staked out their latest position at $2.2 trln; there is a fair amount of US data out today; Brazil has come under renewed pressure from fiscal concerns.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

Persistent risk-off impulses weighed on EM last week and that may continue this week. The Asian currencies outperformed last week while MXN, ZAR, and COP underperformed, and we expect these divergences to continue. Despite optimism about a stimulus package in the US, we think it remains a long shot. Meanwhile, virus numbers are rising in Europe and the US, with data from both regions likely to continue weakening.

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Dollar Firm as Markets Digest Rising Virus Numbers

Low Death in the "Second Wave", 2020

Markets are digesting the rising infection rates across Europe; the dollar is taking another stab at the upside. Speculation is picking up that a compromise on a stimulus package could be reached; reports suggest House Democrats are working on a new $2.4 trln package as a basis for these negotiations.

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Dollar Remains Firm Ahead of Powell Testimony

Sweden Data and Central Bank Rate, 2016-2020

The dollar remains firm on continued safe haven flows but we still view this situation as temporary. Fed Chair Powell appears before the House Financial Services Panel with Treasury Secretary Mnuchin; the text of Powell’s testimony was released already.

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Dollar Gains from Risk-Off Trading Unlikely to Persist

Markets are starting the week in risk-off mode; the dollar is firm on some safe haven flows but this is likely to prove temporary. US politics is coming in to focus as the election nears; we fear that the likely horse-trading and arm-twisting will take away any residual desire to get another stimulus package done.

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Risk Appetite Ebbs Ahead of BOE Decision

US Curve, Breakevens, Real Yields, 2020

The dollar has gotten some limited traction despite the dovish FOMC decision; the FOMC delivered no surprises. We are seeing some more movement on fiscal stimulus; August retail sales disappointed yesterday.

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Dollar Bounce Ends Ahead of ECB Decision

FX Implied Volatility, 2019-2020

The dollar rally ran out of steam; US Senate will hold a vote today on its proposed “skinny” bill. US reports August PPI and weekly jobless claims; US will sell $23 bln of 30-year bonds today after a sloppy 10-year auction yesterday
BOC delivered a hawkish hold yesterday; Peru is expected to keep rates steady at 0.25%.

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Sterling Pounded by Brexit Developments

The dollar rebound continues; odds of a near-term stimulus bill in the US are falling; ahead of inflation readings later this week, the US holds a 10-year auction today. Bank of Canada is expected to keep policy steady; Mexico reports August CPI; Brazil reports August IPCA inflation.

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ECB Preview

Balance Sheets, USD Trin, 2007-2019

The ECB meets tomorrow and is widely expected to stand pat. Macro forecasts may be tweaked modestly and there are some risks of jawboning against the stronger euro, but it should otherwise be an uneventful meeting. Looking ahead, a lot of room remains for further ECB actions.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

EM performance this week will hinge crucially on whether US equity markets can find some traction. If sustained, last week’s equity rout could lead to a deeper generalized risk-off trading environment this week that would weigh on EM FX and equities.

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Drivers for the Week Ahead

The dollar is likely to remain under pressure after Powell’s dovish message at Jackson Hole. August jobs data Friday will be the data highlight of the week. The Fed releases its Beige Book report Wednesday; Powell will face many questions about the Framework Review that he unveiled at Jackson Hole.

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Where Has All the Carry Gone?

Greater China EM Carry, 2000-2020

Despite broad-based dollar weakness, EM currencies have not fully participated in the risk on environment that’s now in place. The good news is that fundamentals matter again. The bad news is that there are a lot of EM countries with bad fundamentals, and the secular decline in carry no longer gives these weaklings any cover.

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Dollar Softens, Equities Rise as Markets Ignore the Negatives

Real Yields and Gold, 2018-2020

Markets seem to be increasingly desensitized to the usual negative drivers; the dollar is under pressure again. Stimulus talks remain stalled; reports suggest Trump is mulling a capital gains tax cut of some sort. US data highlight today will be July PPI; US Treasury begins its record $112 bln quarterly refunding.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

The dollar got some traction against the majors towards the end of last week. This weighed on EM FX, with the high best currencies TRY, BRL, CLP, and ZAR leading the losers. We downplay risk of contagion from Turkey, but we acknowledge it will keep investors wary of the countries with poor fundamentals.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

EM currencies took advantage of broad dollar weakness against the majors last week, with most gaining against the greenback. Yet the week ended on a bit of a risk-off note as concerns intensified about the resurgent virus and the impact on the still-weak global economy.

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Dollar Stabilizes but Further Losses Likely

Dollar YTD Performance, 2020

The dollar is stabilizing today but further losses are likely. Senate Republicans have proposed a sharp cut to weekly unemployment benefits; Senator Collins will oppose Judy Shelton’s nomination to the Fed. Regional Fed manufacturing surveys for July will continue to roll out; early July reads for the US economy support our view that Q3 is off to a rocky start.

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Dollar Remains Under Pressure as European Outlook Shines

US Inflation Expectations, 2019-2020

The outlook for risk assets remains uncertain; the dollar continues to make new lows; the uncertain outlook continues to propel gold and silver higher. The next round of stimulus in the US is proving to be difficult; regional Fed manufacturing surveys for July will continue to roll out. German July IFO survey came in better than expected; eurozone June M3 rose 9.2% y/y vs. 8.9% in May.

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Market Sentiment Boosted by Stimulus Outlook

Today, it’s all about the stimulus; the dollar remains under pressure. Mnuchin and Pelosi kick off the first round of talks for the next stimulus package this afternoon; it’s another quiet day in terms of US data; Canada reports May retail sales
EU finalized its recovery package; UK reported June public sector net borrowing; Hungary is expected to cut rates 15 bp to 0.60%.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

EM FX was mixed last week, with most risk assets continuing to fight a tug of war between improving economic data and worsening virus numbers. Sentiment may be hurt early this week over lack of consensus in the EU and the US regarding further fiscal stimulus. Three of the four EM central banks meeting this week are expected to cut rates.

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Market Sentiment Dented by Weak Data and Rising US-China Tensions

Public Sector Net Debt, 1900-2020

Market sentiment has been dented by more than just rising virus numbers; yet the dollar continues to trade within recent well-worn ranges. California’s decision to reverse partial reopening will likely have a huge economic impact; June CPI may hold a bit more interest in usual; June budget statement is worth a quick mention.

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Dollar Rangebound in Quiet Start to an Eventful Week

EM CDS, 2019-2020

Today marks a relatively quiet start to what is likely to be one of the most eventful weeks we’ve seen in a while; the dollar remains within recent well-worn ranges. The US continues to ratchet up trade tensions; the only US data report today is the June budget statement.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

This is likely to be one of the most eventful weeks we’ve had in a while. Not only do three major central banks meet, but four EM central banks also meet, and we get important June and July data from the US, the first Q2 GDP reading from China, an OPEC+ meeting, and an EU summit.

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Dollar Bid as Market Sentiment Yet to Recover

The US has started the formal process of withdrawing from the WHO; the dollar continues to benefit from risk-off sentiment but remains stuck in recent ranges. The White House is asking Congress to pass another $1 trln stimulus plan by early August; President Trump hosts Mexican President AMLO for a two-day visit.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

Risk assets remain hostage to swings in market sentiment. Stronger than expected US jobs data last week was welcome news. However, the tug of war between improving economic data and worsening viral numbers is likely to continue this week, with many US states reporting record high infection rates.

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Dollar Soft Ahead of Jobs Report

Presidential Elections Odds, 2020

Re-shutdowns continue to spread across the US; the dollar has come under pressure again. Jobs data is the highlight ahead of the long holiday weekend in the US; weekly jobless claims will be reported. FOMC minutes were revelatory; the Fed for now will rely on “outcome-based” forward guidance and asset purchases to achieve its goals; US House passed the latest China sanctions bill.

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Dollar Begins the Week Under Pressure Again

The best prime minister

The virus news stream remains negative; pressure on the dollar has resumed. The US economy is taking a step back just as Q3 is about to get under way; there are some minor US data reports today. UK Labour leader Starmer overtook Prime Minister Johnson in the latest opinion poll; Macron’s party did poorly in French local elections.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

Risk assets came under pressure last week as the virus news stream worsened. It’s clear that large parts of the US will be forced to delay reopening until their virus numbers improve. Markets had gotten too bullish on the US recovery story and so this reality check soured sentiment. This is a very important week for US data, and we think risk sentiment will remain under pressure ahead of what we think will be a likely downside surprise in the US jobs number Thursday.

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Recent Trade Developments Suggest Some Caution Ahead Warranted

WTO Trade Outlook, 2005-2021

There’s never a good time for a trade war. Yet here we are on the cusp of one between the US and the EU over unfair aircraft subsidies and comes at a time when renewed COVID-19 outbreaks are making the global economic outlook even cloudier. These developments suggest some caution ahead is warranted for risk assets like EM and equities.

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Dollar Firm as Risk-Off Sentiment Persists

Coronavirus Daily Change, 2020

Higher infection numbers in the US and other countries continue to fuel risk aversion across global markets; the IMF released more pessimistic global growth forecasts yesterday. The US has rekindled trade provocations against China through Huawei; weekly jobless claims will be reported; regional Fed manufacturing surveys for June will continue to roll out.

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Dollar Firm as Risk-Off Sentiment Returns

Economic Surprise, 2019-2020

Risk-off sentiment has picked up from reports that the US will impose new tariffs against the EU; there’s also been a messy set of headlines regarding the virus contagion outlook in the US. The IMF will release updated global growth forecasts today; the dollar is benefiting from risk-off sentiment; another round of fiscal stimulus in the US is in the works.

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Restricted Market Trading Comments

There were minimal changes to the status quo as the week commences. Bangladesh has announced revised trading hours on the local exchanges. No change of status in Nigeria and Kenya as they both continue to face limited liquidity. Please see trading comments below.

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Drivers for the Week Ahead

There are some indexing events this week that could add to market volatility; the IMF will release updated global growth forecasts Wednesday. The regional Fed manufacturing surveys for June will continue to roll out; Fed speaking engagements are somewhat limited this week.

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SNB Preview

Swiss Foreign Reserves, 2010-2020

The Swiss National Bank meets Thursday. It is widely expected to maintain its current policy stances but is likely to push back against CHF strength. Here, we highlight here the potential choices that lie ahead for the SNB.

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Dollar Suffers as Stimulus Efforts Boost Market Sentiment

US HY and IG Bonds Returns, 2020

Market sentiment reverse sharply to the positive side due to several factors; as a result, the dollar has suffered. The Fed beefed up its support for the corporate bond market; all eyes are on Fed Chair Powell as he delivers his semi-annual report to the Senate today. The Trump administration is reportedly preparing a large infrastructure bill; May retail sales will be the data highlight.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

EM and other risk assets stabilized to end the week after Thursday’s selloff, but remain vulnerable. The risks ahead are the same as before, which include a second wave of infections as well as a longer and shallower than expected recovery in global growth. The Fed’s message of low rates as far as the eye can see was balanced by Powell’s grim outlook for unemployment.

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Dollar Firm as Risk-Off Sentiment Intensifies After FOMC Decision

Coronavirus Daily Change, 2020

Concerns about still rising infection numbers and a second wave ofCovid-19 have contributed to today’s downdraft in risk assets; for now, the weak dollar trend is hard to fight. Despite delivering no change in policy, the Fed nonetheless sent an unequivocally dovish signal; stocks have not reacted well to the Fed; weekly jobless claims and May PPI will be reported.

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Dollar Firm as Risk-Off Sentiment Takes Hold

Equity Markets YTD Performance, 2020

Today’s risk off price action appears to have been triggered by profit-taking; the dollar has gotten some traction. The Fed expanded its Main Street Loan Program to include more businesses; the jobs rebound has removed a sense of urgency regarding the next round of fiscal stimulus.

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Dollar Broadly Weaker Ahead of FOMC Decision

US HY Yield, 2019-2020

The FOMC decision comes out this afternoon and we expect a dovish hold; this would of course be negative for the dollar. Ahead of the decision, May CPI will be reported; the budget statement will be of interest; Brazil reports May IPCA inflation. We are still getting mixed messages about Europe’s flagship €750 bln recovery package; French April IP fell -20.1% m/m.

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Dollar Stabilizes as the New Week Begins

Coronavirus Daily Change, 2020

The dollar has stabilized a bit; Friday’s US jobs data could be a game changer. The US bond market selloff continues; for now, the weak dollar trend is hard to fight. The Brazilian government has found a way to make a bad situation worse by trying to control its Covid-19 statistics.

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Our Latest Thoughts on the Dollar

Dollar Index, 2015-2020

The dollar remains under pressure, due in large part to the Fed’s aggressive efforts to inject stimulus. We see dollar weakness persisting near-term. From a longer-term perspective, we note that the greenback remains largely rangebound and is unlikely to fall below its 2018 lows.

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Dollar Broadly Weaker After Reports of Possible Brexit Compromise

Balance sheets, USD Trin, 2007-2019

The dollar remains under pressure; there is a debate as to the root causes of recent dollar weakness. May auto sales will be the only US data release today; protests in the US are further denting Trump’s re-elections prospects, at least according to betting odds. The G7 meeting planned at Camp David this month was postponed after German Chancellor Merkel declined his invitation.

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Dollar Firm as US-China Tensions Continue to Rise

Chinese Fix Yuan, 2019-2020

Tensions between the US and China continue to rise; the dollar is finding some traction. Fed Beige Book contained no surprises; NY Fed President Williams said the Fed is “thinking very hard” about targeting yields; weekly jobless claims are expected at 2.1 mln vs. 2.438 mln last week .

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Asia Lockdowns vs. Re-Openings

We apply the five-factor model used to analyse lockdowns and openings in developed markets and in Latin America to Asian Markets. It evaluates the restrictions imposed by different countries in the region, how they compare in terms of severity of lockdown, and where they are heading in the spectrum of reopening. The scale we use measures grade restrictions from 1 (open) to 4 (closed) across the following five factors: (a) schools/universities, (b) non-essential businesses, (c) borders, (d) social distancing and (e) severity of penalties/prosecution.

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Restricted Market Trading Comments

By Dara O’Sullivan, Derrick Leonard, and Ilan Solot, Covid-19 related measures for restricted markets remain largely unchanged this week. Philippines, Bangladesh and Kuwait have extended their lockdown periods, while Kenya and Nigeria continue to face limited liquidity.

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Dollar Firm as China’s Hong Kong Gambit Triggers Risk-Off Trading

Legislation was introduced that allows Beijing to directly impose a national security law on Hong Kong; US-China tensions are still rising; the dollar is bid as risk-off sentiment takes hold. There are no US data reports or Fed speakers today; Canada reports March retail sales; Mexico reports mid-May CPI.

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Dollar Firm as US-China Tensions Flare

The virus news stream is mixed; the dollar has stabilized; US-China tensions continue to ratchet up. We will get some more US economic data for May; weekly jobless claims are expected at 2.4 mln. Eurozone and UK reported firm preliminary May PMI readings; BOE officials continue to take a very dovish tone.

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Dollar Treads Water Ahead of FOMC Minutes

The virus news stream is mixed; the dollar has stabilized a bit. FOMC minutes will be released; Canada reports April CPI and March wholesale trade sales; the news from Brazil keeps getting worse. Another group of EU nations will release their own plan in a rebuttal of France and Germany; UK reported April CPI data.

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Restricted Market Trading Comments

Covid-19 related measures for restricted markets remain largely unchanged this week. Philippines, Bangladesh and Kuwait have extended their lockdown periods, while Kenya and Nigeria continue to face limited liquidity. Please see trading comments below

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Dollar Firm as Risk-off Sentiment Intensifies

Risk-off sentiment has intensified; as a result, the dollar is getting some more traction. Fed Chair Powell pushed back against the notion of negative rates in the US; US Treasury completed its quarterly refunding. Weekly jobless claims are expected at 2.5 mln vs. 3.169 mln last week; Mexico is expected to cut rates 50 bp to 5.5%

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Dollar Mixed as Markets Await Fresh Drivers

The virus news stream is mixed; the dollar continues to consolidate; US-China tensions continue to rise. US Treasury wraps up its quarterly refunding; April budget statement is a harbinger of things to come; the next round of stimulus will be contentious. We got some dovish BOE comments yesterday; UK continues to play Brexit hardball; UK data was slightly better than expected but awful nonetheless.

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Different Type of Crisis, Some Old Concerns

Over the past two months we have witnessed historic turmoil followed by unprecedented intervention by policy makers and central banks in supporting the capital markets (and more). In many ways the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic is very different from the 2008 global financial crisis, but for some, certain old concerns still linger. In the face of short selling bans and worries about market liquidity, we discuss below how best to navigate some of the common objections and concerns related to securities lending and how to position your securities lending program in the current environment and beyond.

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Restricted Market Trading Comments

Covid-19 related measures for restricted markets remain largely unchanged from last week. Sri Lanka and India have extended their lockdown periods, while Kenya and Nigeria continue to face limited liquidity. Please see trading comments below.

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Dollar Mixed as Doves Fly

Measures of cross-market implied volatility have been stable for a few weeks now. Weekly jobless claims are expected at 3 mln; reports suggest House Democrats are pushing ahead with a possible vote next week on another relief package. Canada reports April Ivey PMI; Peru is expected to keep rates steady; Brazil COPOM delivered a dovish surprise last night.

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Negative News from Europe Helps Dollar Build on Gains

UK has been confirmed to have the highest death toll in Europe the dollar is getting more traction. Reports suggest Congress is resisting President Trump’s call for a payroll tax cut; ADP private sector jobs data is expected to come in at -21 mln. Brazil is expected to cut rates 50 bp; Fitch cut its outlook on Brazil to negative; Chile is expected to keep rates steady.

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Restricted Market Trading Comments

Covid-19 related measures for restricted markets remain largely unchanged from last week. Sri Lanka and India have extended their lockdown periods, while Kenya and Nigeria continue to face limited liquidity.

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Some Thoughts on Recent Foreign Exchange Intervention

Dollar's YTD Performance, 2020

Dollar softness this week will take some pressure off of the foreign currencies but it’s too early to sound the all clear.  This piece focuses on how  central banks around the world may be intervening to influence their currencies.  Most of the world, particularly EM, is grappling with supporting weak currencies but a select few are dealing with stronger currencies. This is a very opaque process and so we are simply making our best guesses.

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Restricted Market Trading Comments

By Dara O’Sullivan, Derrick Leonard, and Ilan Solot. As the week commences, a few markets such as Sri Lanka and Philippines are extending their lockdown periods while others such as Nigeria and Kenya continue to experience USD liquidity issues. Please see comments below.

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Dollar Remains Under Pressure as Risk-on Sentiment Persists

The death toll from the virus continues to trend lower in Europe and the US; the dollar remains under some pressure. The Fed announced an expansion of its Municipal Liquidity Facility (MLF); regional Fed manufacturing surveys for April continue to roll out; other data will be reported.

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Drivers for the Week Ahead

The FOMC meets Wednesday; first look at Q1 US GDP comes out Wednesday; weekly jobless claims Thursday are expected at 3.5 mln vs. 4.427 mln last week. Italy dodged a bullet last Friday; ECB meets Thursday; eurozone reports Q1 GDP and April CPI data ahead of the ECB decision; Sweden’s Riksbank meets Tuesday.

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Thoughts on the Potential Market Impact of US Downgrades

Our sovereign rating model suggests the US will lose its AAA/Aaa rating.  With fiscal stimulus efforts continuing with this latest $484 bln package, the case for downgrades just keep getting stronger but the timing is unclear.  How might markets react?  We look back to 2011 for some clues.

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Dollar Steady as Global Economy Falls Off a Cliff

Mexico Bond and CDS, 2020

The virus news stream is negative today; the dollar is trying to build on its recent gains. Weekly jobless claims are expected at 4.5 mln vs. 5.245 mln last week; regional Fed manufacturing surveys for April continue to roll out. ECB confirmed reports that it will accept sub-investment grade debt as collateral; EU leaders will hold a video conference today.

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EM Sovereign Rating Model For Q2 2020

Emerging Markets Q2 2020

The major ratings agencies are punishing Emerging Markets (EM) credits much more than their DM counterparts.  Our own sovereign ratings model suggests that there is still more pain to come.
We have produced this interim ratings model to assist investors in assessing relative sovereign risk across the major EMs. 

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Dollar Stalls as Market Sentiment Improves

The virus news stream remains mixed; oil remains at center stage with still extreme volatility. The White House and House Democrats struck a deal on a new aid package worth $484 bln. Canada reports March CPI; Mexico delivered a surprise 50 bp cut to 6.0% yesterday afternoon.

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Dollar Firm as Equities and Oil Start the Week Under Pressure

Front-Month Oil Futures, 2015-2020

The lockdown vs. opening debate continues in just about every country; the dollar is consolidating recent gains. Reports suggest the White House and House Democrats are nearing a deal on another aid package worth nearly $500 bln; the extra fiscal stimulus will add to downward ratings pressure on the US.

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Dollar Firm in Thin Holiday Trading

The virus news stream is mostly positive today; yet risk assets are starting the week under some modest pressure. The dollar took a hit last week but we think it will recover; some US data releases from Good Friday are worth repeating. With most of Europe closed today, the news stream from the region is very light; oil prices could not extend their gains today after OPEC+ finalized output cuts over the weekend.

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Dollar Under Modest Pressure as Europe Returns from Holiday

Coronavirus Daily Change, 2020

The tug of war between extending vs. softening lockdowns continues. The dollar remains under modest pressure but we think it will eventually recover; Bernie Sanders has endorsed Joe Biden. Europe reopens from holiday today but the news stream remains light; South Africa surprised with an emergency 100 bp rate cut.

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Lessons from Singapore?

Singapore has been hailed for its quick response to the coronavirus that limited initial infections, but the outlook is shifting.  Despite their early success, they will have to revert to a lockdown.  Can Singapore’s experience offer any lessons for European and the US policymakers?

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Dollar Firm as Europe Fails to Deliver

The dollar is stabilizing; reports suggest the White House is developing a plan to reopen the US economy sooner rather than later. Both Hong Kong and Singapore just tightened restrictions on gathering and movement. FOMC minutes for the March 15 decision will be released today.

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Restricted Market Trading Comments

With many markets still under lockdown and some going out on Easter holidays this week, we continue to see amended trading hours. The most notable change has been in India with a reduction in trading hours, while in Nigeria we saw a small amount of liquidity being released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Below are our updates for the week.

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Dollar Mixed, Equities Higher as Virus News Stream Improves

It was a relatively good weekend in virus-related news; measures of implied volatility continue to trend lower. The dollar is trying to build on its recent gains; investors continue to try and gauge just how bad the US economy will get hit. The outlook for oil prices remains highly uncertain and volatile.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

EM may get a little support from a potential OPEC+ deal to limit oil.  Even if a deal is struck, the impact is likely to be fleeting as the global growth outlook remains terrible.  We remain negative on EM for the time being.

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Dollar Bid as Market Sentiment Worsens

The virus news stream out of Europe has improved a bit. The US is already taking about the next relief bill; the Fed continues to roll out measures to address dollar funding issues. ADP and ISM manufacturing PMI are the US data highlights. Regulators across Europe are asking banks to stop paying dividends; eurozone and UK reported final manufacturing PMIs.

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Drivers for the Week Ahead

Markets continue to digest the implications of the Fed’s bazooka moment last week. The data highlight this week will be March jobs data Friday; key manufacturing sector data will come out earlier in the week. On Friday, BOC delivered an emergency 50 bp rate cut to 0.25% and started QE.

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ECB Approaching its Bazooka Moment

ECB Balance Sheet Total Assets, 2010-2019

The ECB appears to be moving closer to activating Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT).  Despite being part of Draghi’s “whatever it takes” moment, OMT has never been used.  If the Fed’s open-ended QE is seen as dollar-negative, then OMT should be seen as euro-negative.

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Drivers for the Week Ahead

Risk sentiment is likely to remain under pressure this week as the impact of the coronavirus continues to spread; demand for dollars remains strong. As of this writing, the Senate-led aid bill has stalled; the US economic outlook is getting more dire; Canada is experiencing similar headwinds. This is a big data week for the UK; eurozone March flash PMIs will be reported Tuesday; oil prices continue to slide.

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Dollar Firm, Markets Unsettled Despite Aggressive Policy Responses Worldwide

Credit Risk Rising, 2019-2020

Markets remain unsettled even as policymakers worldwide continue to take aggressive emergency measures; the dollar continues to power higher. Fed rolled out another crisis-era program last night; US Senate passed the House virus relief bill by a 90-8 vote. ECB held an emergency call last night and announced an additional bond purchase program to the tune of €750 bln that now includes commercial paper.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

Market sentiment is likely to open this week on an upswing after the Fed’s emergency rate cut and expanded QE were announced Sunday afternoon local time.  Yet as we have seen time and again this past couple of weeks, added stimulus has had little lasting impact on markets as the virus numbers continue to worsen.  Europe is now reporting more daily cases than China did at its peak.  We remain negative on EM until the global growth outlook becomes clearer.

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Dollar Soft as BOE Surprises Ahead of UK Budget

The dollar is stabilizing but remains vulnerable to disappointment as markets await details of US fiscal measures. US reports February CPI; Joe Biden moved closer to clinching the Democratic nomination. BOE delivered a surprise 50 bp rate cut to 0.25% and initiated a new lending scheme; UK government releases its budget today; UK reported weak data.

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ECB Preview, March 11

Christine Lagarde will chair her third ECB meeting Thursday.  She faces growing risks of recession but also widespread skepticism within the ECB regarding the efficacy of negative rates.  Markets have priced in several rate cuts this year.  Here, we discuss what measures the ECB may take this week.

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Dollar Firm as Global Financial Markets Calm

Global financial markets are finally seeing a measure of calm return; local Chinese media is sounding more confident that the situation is now under control. The White House will announce fiscal measures today; five states hold primaries and one holds a caucus with 352 total pledged delegates up for grabs.

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Drivers for the Week Ahead

Risk-off sentiment continues to build as the coronavirus spreads. Fed easing expectations continue to intensify; February inflation readings for the US will be reported this week. The ECB meets Thursday and markets are split; the stronger euro is doing the eurozone economy no favors. The UK has a heavy data release schedule Wednesday; UK government also releases its budget that day.

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Updated Democratic Primary Timeline

RCP Betting Average

Super Tuesday has come and gone. Bloomberg has suspended his campaign after an extremely poor showing, and Warren is expected to follow suit soon. Here is our updated take on the likely Democratic candidate.

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Drivers for the Week Ahead

The dollar has softened as Fed easing expectations have picked up. Late Friday, Chair Powell issued an unscheduled statement saying the Fed is monitoring the virus and will act as appropriate. This is a big data week for the US; the Fed releases its Beige Book report Wednesday. Super Tuesday comes this week; Bank of Canada meets Wednesday.

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Dollar Mixed as Coronavirus News Stream Deteriorates

The virus news stream continues to deteriorate. Lower US yields and growing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus in the US are taking a toll on the greenback. OPEC officials are trying to work out another supply cut; The outlook for Turkey is going from bad to worse. Simply put, there is nothing the Fed can do to address the economic impact of supply chain disruptions and social distancing.

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Seven Big-Picture Considerations for Covid-19

Yuan Performance vs. Major Trading Partners, 2020

Below is a non-exhaustive list of medium- and long-term implications from the Covid-19. We discuss the yuan, China’s competitiveness, its position in the global production chains, the impact on the Phase One trade deal, and rising financial stability risks. Globally, the virus will bring about a new wave of fiscal spending and revive the discussions about the limits of monetary policy.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

The still-growing impact of the coronavirus should keep EM and risk sentiment under pressure this week.  The weekend G20 meeting in Saudi Arabia acknowledged the risks to the global economy and said participants agreed on a “menu of policy options.” However, the G20 offered little specific in terms of a coordinated policy response.

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DM Equity Allocation Model For Q1 2020

Developed equity markets remain near the highs despite mounting concerns about the impact of the coronavirus. MSCI World made a new all-time high last week near 2435 and is up 2.5% YTD. Our 1-rated grouping (outperformers) for Q1 2020 consists of Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, Spain, and Switzerland.

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Dollar Firm as Risk-Off Sentiment Picks Up Again

Negative news on the coronavirus has kept risk appetite subdued across the board; the dollar rally continues. During the North American session, we will get some more clues to the state of the US economy; FOMC minutes were largely as expected. UK January retail sales came in firm; ECB releases the account of its January 23 meeting.

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Drivers for the Week Ahead

We get the first February data from the US manufacturing sector this week; the US economy remains strong; FOMC minutes will be released Wednesday. Canada reports some key data this week. Preliminary eurozone February PMI readings will be reported Friday; UK has a busy data week.

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Virus Concerns Resurface

Coronavirus

Markets are reacting badly to upward revisions to coronavirus cases in China. The euro fell to the weakest level since mid-2017 against the dollar. UK housing data adds to relatively upbeat figures since the December elections. Malaysia’s government is joining in the counter-cyclical fiscal effort.

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Markets on Edge as New Week Begins

The coronavirus death toll is just over 900, exceeding the SARS epidemic; the dollar remains firm. President Trump will unveil his budget proposal for FY2021 beginning October 1 today. The faltering eurozone economy comes just as political uncertainty is picking up in Germany.

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Drivers for the Week Ahead

Risk-off sentiment intensified last week; the dollar continues to climb. This is another big data week for the US; the US economy remains strong. Fed Chair Powell testifies before the House Tuesday and the Senate Wednesday; the Senate holds confirmation hearings for Fed nominees Shelton and Waller Thursday.

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Dollar Firm Ahead of US Jobs Report

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths continue to rise; the dollar continues to climb. The January jobs data is the highlight for the week; Canada also reports jobs data. The Fed submits its semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress today; Mexico and Brazil report January inflation data.

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Dollar Firm as Markets Await Fresh Drivers

China cut tariffs on $75 bln of US imports by half, while the US said it could reciprocate in some way. The dollar continues to climb; during the North American session, only minor data will be reported; Brazil cut rates 25 bp. Germany reported very weak December factory orders; all is not well in the German state of Thuringia.

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Dollar Mixed as Some Risk Appetite Returns

The dollar continues to climb; one of side-effects of the virus has been a swelling of the amount of negative yielding debt globally. The US primary season got off to a rocky start for the Democrats. During the North American session, December factory orders will be reported; the US economy remains strong.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

Emerging Markets Currencies

EM remains vulnerable to deteriorating risk sentiment as the coronavirus spreads.  China announced a series of measures over the weekend to help support its financial markets, but this may not be enough to turn sentiment around yet.  China markets reopen Monday after the extended Lunar New Year holiday and it won’t be pretty.

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Dollar Firm Ahead of BOE Decision

The World Health Organization called an emergency meeting today; the dollar continues to climb. The FOMC meeting was a non-event; US advance Q4 GDP will be reported. Risk-off sentiment has derailed curve steepening trades. Implied rates still suggest that today’s BOE meeting is a coin toss.

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Tentative Stabilization

Implied Volatility Measures, 2018-2019

Risk-off continues in Asia, but moves have been less dramatic. European market jittery but stable. Implied rates now pricing in a full Fed cut by September. The UK will announce its decision on Huawei’s access to the country’s 5G network.

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Sharp Sell-Off on Virus Concerns

Oil and Gold Divergence, 2017-2019

Global stocks lower on virus fears, yen appreciates, and yield curves flatten. Oil prices continue to fall while gold rises. Italian assets outperform on favorable election results for ruling coalition. German IFO survey disappoints, trimming nascent green shoots.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

The spread of the coronavirus continues and is likely to weigh on risk assets and EM.  Most markets in Emerging Asia are closed for all or part of this week due to the Lunar New Year holiday.  China has extended the holiday until February 2 as it struggles to contain the virus. 

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Virus and Trade Tensions

Implied Volatility Measures, 2019-2020

Asian markets hit by a further outbreak of the coronavirus. US steps up trade rhetoric against EU and pushes back against UK digital tax plan. AUD stronger on solid Australian jobs report and pricing out of RBA easing. CAD weaker on dovish BOC communication yesterday.

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Dollar Mixed as Risk-Off Impulses Spread from Virus

Reports that Wuhan coronavirus continues to spread hurt risk appetite overnight. US President Trump and French president Macron agreed to take a step back from the digital tax dispute. The dollar is taking a breather today; after last week’s huge US data dump, releases this week are fairly light. The UK reported firm jobs data for November; BOJ kept policy steady, as expected.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

Market sentiment on EM remains positive after the Phase One trade deal was signed.  Data out of China is also supportive for EM.  Key forward-looking data this week are Taiwan export orders and Korea trade data for the first 20 days of January.  The global liquidity story also remains beneficial for risk, with the ECB, Norges Bank, BOC, and BOJ all set to maintain steady rates this week.

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Dollar Soft Ahead of Retail Sales Data

There were no surprises in the US-China Phase One trade deal. The dollar is drifting lower ahead of the key retail sales data; there are other minor US data out today. Bank of England credit survey showed demand for loans fell in Q4. Turkey cut its one-week repo rate by 75 bps to 11.25%; South Africa is expected to keep rates steady at 6.5%.

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Some Thoughts on the Latest Treasury FX Report

FX Report

The US Treasury’s latest “Macroeconomic and Foreign Exchange Policies of Major Trading Partners of the United States” report no longer considers China a currency manipulator. The underlying message is that the Trump administration will continue to use an ad hoc “carrot and stick” approach to improve US access to the domestic markets of its major trading partners.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

EM has been able to get some traction as markets basically shrugged off the risk-off sentiment after the Iran attacks.  This week’s planned signing of the Phase One trade deal should help boost EM further, but we remain cautious.  The Iran situation is by no means solved, and we see periodic bouts of risk-off sentiment coming from smaller skirmishes. 

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Dollar Builds on Gains as Iran Tensions Ease

Markets have reacted positively to President Trump’s press conference yesterday, while the dollar continues to gain traction. The North American session is quiet in terms of US data. Mexico reports December CPI; Peru is expected to keep rates steady at 2.25%. German November IP was slightly better than expected but still tepid; sterling took a hit on dovish comments by outgoing BOE Governor Carney.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

While the global economic backdrop remains favorable for EM, rising geopolitical risks will be a growing headwind. The EM VIX surged above 18% Friday as Iran tensions escalated, the highest since early December. With these tensions likely to persist, EM may remain under some pressure for the time being. High oil prices are positive for the exporters in Latin America and the Middle East but negative for the importers in Asia and Eastern Europe.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

EM FX was broadly firmer last week, taking advantage of the dollar’s soft tone as well as another wave of risk-on sentiment.  Bullishness on the global economy is quite strong, whilst we are perhaps a bit more skeptical given ongoing weakness in the UK, Japan, and the eurozone.  Dollar bearishness may also be overdone given our more constructive outlook on the US economy, but technical damage has been done that must now be repaired.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

EM FX was mostly firmer last week.  ZAR, PEN, and CLP outperformed while TRY, HUF, and CNY underperformed.  MSCI EM traded at new highs for the cycle but ran out of steam near the 1110 area, while MSCI EM FX lagged a bit and has yet to surpass its July high.  Overall, the backdrop for EM remains constructive but investors must be prepared to differentiate amongst credits in 2020.

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Hard Brexit Redux?

The risks of a hard Brexit are perhaps higher than markets appreciated. Here, we set forth some possible scenarios as to what may unfold after the January 31 deadline. Uncertainty is likely to be protracted and markets hate uncertainty. As such, we see UK assets continuing to underperform.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

Risk assets such as EM got a big boost last week, as tail risks from a hard Brexit and the US-China trade war have clearly ebbed. Still, the initial lack of details on the Phase One deal as well as uncertainty regarding the next phases have left the markets a bit jittery and nervous. Hopefully, this week may bring some further clarity and the good news is that the December 15 tariffs have been canceled.

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Risk Assets Rally as Major Tail Risks Ease

The biggest tail risks impacting markets this year have cleared up; risk assets are rallying, while safe haven assets are selling off. During the North American session, US November retail sales will be reported. Russia central bank cut rates 25 bp to 6.25%, as expected.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

EM has had a good month so far as market optimism on a Phase One trade deal remains high. Yet November trade data due out this week should show that until that deal is finalized, the outlook for EM remains weak.  Deadline for the next round of US tariffs is December 15 and so talks this week are crucial. 

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Dollar Soft on Weak Data and the Return of Tariff Man

The dollar has taken a hit from the weaker than expected data Monday. Tariff man is back. The US economy remains solid in Q4 but there are some worrying signs for the November jobs data Friday. The political pressure on Turkey from the US could increase soon; South Africa’s Q3 GDP came in well below expectations at -0.6% q/q and 0.1% y/y.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

Over the weekend, China reported stronger than expected November PMI readings while Korea reported weaker than expected November trade data.  While the China data is welcome, we put more weight on Korea trade numbers, which typically serve as a good bellwether for the entire region.  Press reports suggest the Phase One trade deal has stalled due to Hong Kong legislation passed by the US Congress.

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Dollar Builds on Recent Gains

The dollar remains resilient; optimism towards a Phase One deal continues to support risk appetite. There was also optimism from Fed Chairman Powell yesterday; the US economy is not out of the woods yet. Turkish President Erdogan started deploying Russia’s S-400 missile system, raising the specter of sanctions. Hong Kong reported weak October trade data; Philippine central bank Governor Diokno said a December cut was possible.

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Drivers for the Week Ahead

The dollar was surprisingly resilient last week; we look for further dollar gains ahead. It is a holiday shortened week in the US, but there are still some major data releases. There is a fair amount of eurozone data this week; UK Prime Minister Johnson unveiled his Tory manifesto. Hong Kong held local elections this weekend; tensions between Japan and Korea appear to have eased, but questions remain.

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Dollar and Equities Sink as Trade Pessimism Rises

Pessimism regarding a Phase One trade deal has intensified; further muddying the waters are recent US Congressional actions. FOMC minutes contained no surprises; regional Fed manufacturing surveys for November continue. South Africa is expected to cut rates by 25 bp to 6.25%. Korea reported trade data for the first twenty days of November; Indonesia kept rates steady at 5.0%, as expected.

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EM Sovereign Rating Model For Q4 2019

Emerging Markets Sovereign Ratings Model Q4 2019

We have produced the following Emerging Markets (EM) ratings model to assess relative sovereign risk. An EM country’s score directly reflects its creditworthiness and underlying ability to service its external debt obligations. Each score is determined by a weighted compilation of fifteen economic and political indicators, which include external debt/GDP, short-term debt/reserves, import cover, current account/GDP, GDP growth, and budget balance.

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DM Equity Allocation Model For Q4 2019

Global equity markets continue to power higher US-China trade tensions have eased. MSCI World made a new all-time high today near 2290 and is up 23% YTD. Our 1-rated grouping (outperformers) for Q4 2019 consists of Ireland, Sweden, Israel, Denmark, and Australia. Our 5-rated grouping (underperformers) for Q4 2019 consists of the UK, Hong Kong, Greece, Germany, and Portugal.

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EM FX Model for Q4 2019

EM FX has rallied sharply in recent weeks, helped by growing optimism that we’ve seen the worst of the US-China trade war. Given our more constructive outlook on EM, we believe MSCI EM FX should eventually test the 1657.50 high from July. We see continued divergences within the asset class. Our 1-rated (strongest fundamentals) grouping for Q4 2019 consists of TWD, THB, PHP, CNY, and KRW.

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Dollar Stabilizes as Markets Await Fresh Drivers

Press reports suggest that the mood in Beijing is pessimistic after President Trump pushed back against tariff rollbacks. Fed Chair Powell met with President Trump and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin yesterday. Hungary is expected to keep rates steady; the deadline to form a government in Israel is fast approaching. RBA released dovish minutes from its November policy meeting.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

EM FX was mostly weaker last week due to doubts about a Phase One trade deal between the US and China. Those talks continue this week and while we expect a deal to be struck, there is likely to be a lot of last minute posturing that will likely keep markets volatile over the short-run. In the meantime, investors need to beware of idiosyncratic country risk within EM.

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Emerging Market Risk Map

BBH Risk MingMap

With year-end upon us, we review some of the key risks to EM assets and how we think they progress from here. In short, the two most significant downside risks would be a decisive improvement in Elizabeth Warren’s polling figures and an upset in the US-China trade negotiations.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

EM was mostly lower last week, as doubts crept in about the recent trade optimism. Some events also served as reminders of idiosyncratic EM risk that can’t be overlooked, such as downgrade risks (South Africa), failed oil auctions (Brazil), and violent protests (CLP). EM may remain on its back foot until we get further clarity on the US-China talks, but we remain confident in our call that a deal will be struck soon that lower existing tariffs. 

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Dollar Rally Stalls as Fresh Drivers Awaited

US-China relations continue to improve with news of cooperation in a major fentanyl case. Eurozone final services and composite PMIs surprised on the upside; UK Parliament will be dissolved today. Poland is expected to keep rates steady at 1.5%; Russia October CPI is expected to rise 3.8% y/y. China sold €4 bn in its first euro-denominated bond since 2004; Thailand cut rates 25 bp to 1.25%, as expected.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

EM should continue to benefit from the generalized improvement in the global backdrop. Trade tensions have eased whilst the risks of a hard Brexit have fallen, at least for now. Yet recent developments in some major EM countries underscores how important it is for investors to differentiate between the strong credits and the weak ones.

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Mexico vs. Brazil Near-Term Outlook

Interest Rates Favor Peso vs Real

Both Brazil and Mexico are in a good position to benefit from the current improvement in market sentiment. However, when comparing the factors driving the currencies of both countries, we think there are relatively more near-term positives for the Mexican peso than for the Brazilian real.

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FOMC Preview

Fed Funds Dot Plots, 2019-2022

The FOMC begins a two-day meeting today with the decision due out tomorrow afternoon.  The Fed is widely expected to cut rates 25 bp for the third meeting in a row.  What’s next? US data have undeniably softened in September.  Weakness in the manufacturing sector appears to have spread to the wider economy.  ISM PMI, jobs, CPI, PPI, and retail sales all came in weaker than expected. 

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Dollar Firm as Two-Day FOMC Meeting Begins

The dollar continues to gain traction as the two-day FOMC begins; US political uncertainty has entered a new phase. Yesterday marked the third time that UK Prime Minister Johnson lost a vote for elections; he will try again today. Weak South Africa data support our call for imminent easing; the threat of sanctions against Turkey are back on the table.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

EM has been on a good run but this week will be a big test.  Brexit uncertainty may finally end.  Or it may not.  A delay would be positive for EM, whilst a potential hard Brexit would be negative.  The Fed meets Wednesday and key US data will be reported during the week, culminating with the jobs report Friday. 

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A New Stage of the US-China Conflict

The US-China diplomatic relationship may be entering a new stage. The balance of power between the key players – Trump, China, the US Congress, and the Democrats – is changing and their roles are being reshuffled. This might be enough to break the endless cycle of agreements and re-escalations. In short, we think both Trump and Chinese officials have a greater incentive to reach a deal (or at least not to escalate) this time around.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

We are beginning to become more constructive on EM.  The main trigger for some optimism is the shifting US-China dynamic. In our view, the partial trade deal reveals weakness on the part of the US.  Reports suggest China will begin pushing for all existing tariffs to be dropped as part of Phase 2, which would be very positive for EM.  That is still likely months away but this shifting dynamic bears watching. 

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Dollar Broadly Weaker as Brexit Deal Takes Shape

The dollar remains under pressure due to weak US retail sales and rising optimism on Brexit and the trade war. Brexit negotiations remain tense and we should expect a higher than usual noise-to-signal ratio at this stage. China said its goal is to stop the trade war and remove all tariffs. US has a full data schedule; we remain constructive on the US economic outlook.

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Dollar Resilient as Cracks in Risk-On Appear

Some cracks have appeared in the market’s risk-on sentiment. We continue to believe that recent developments take some pressure off the Fed to cut rates again this month. Our base case for a Brexit delay has been strengthened; UK reported weak labor market data. The situation is Turkey continues to develop negatively for asset prices; trade data out of China once again showed the impact of the trade war and the resulting global slowdown.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

EM benefited greatly from the improvement in US-China trade relations and quite possibly Brexit.  The dollar is likely to remain under some pressure near-term as a result. Yet we must caution investors against getting too optimistic.  The details of the partial trade deal still need to be worked out, while existing tariffs will still remain in place if the deal is signed next month as most expect.

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Dollar Remains Soft as Risk-On Sentiment Continues

Markets have seized on the possibility of a partial trade deal as well as some hopes that a hard Brexit will be avoided. The main event for the day will be President Trump’s meeting with Vice Premier Liu He. These market movements (if sustained) will take pressure off of the Fed to cut rates this month. The notion of a “pathway” to a Brexit deal continues to capture investors’ imagination.

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Dollar Soft Despite Heightened Geopolitical Risks

The dollar staged a stunning comeback yesterday as risk-off took hold on rising geopolitical risk; those risks remain high. US-China tensions have risen ahead of trade talks that begin Thursday. The US abruptly announced that it would withdraw its troops from northeast Syria. US reports September PPI; German IP came in better than expected.

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Drivers for the Week Ahead

The dollar rally has been derailed by weak US data and rising recession fears. The September jobs data was not a game-changer and so we are left waiting for more clues. Believe it or not, the US economy remains solid; however, the US repo market has not fully normalized yet. The Chinese trade delegation arrives in Washington Thursday for two days of trade talks.

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Musings on the Repo Market, Fed Policy, and the US Economy

Fed Balance Sheet, 2007-2019

The US repo market appears to finally be normalizing. The low pace of normalization is concerning and so a more permanent solution may be needed to head off similar problems at year-end. We do not think this issue has any implications for the economic outlook, which we continue to view as solid.

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Drivers for the Week Ahead

We continue to think that the US economy is in better shape than most appreciate, and that underpins our strong dollar call. Tensions are likely to remain high after reports emerged last week that the US will look into limiting capital flows into China. US September jobs data Friday will be the data highlight of the week; there is a heavy slate of Fed speakers this week.

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Dollar Firm as US Economy Continues to Outperform

Political uncertainty is likely to persist in the US; the big unknown is whether this will impact the US economy. US core PCE reading will be of particular interest and is expected to rise 1.8% y/y; Quarles (voter) and Harker (non-voter) speak. Dovish BOE comments are weighing on sterling; France reported weak CPI and consumer spending data.

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Dollar Firm Despite Rising US Political Uncertainty

The dollar continues to benefit despite US political uncertainty
President Trump claimed to be getting “closer and closer” to a trade deal with China; we are very skeptical. There is a lot of US data to be reported and a heavy slate of Fed speakers today.

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Dollar Firm as Risk-Off Impulses Return

Markets have moved into risk-off mode from a confluence of events emanating from the US. Speaker of the House Pelosi formally launched a formal impeachment inquiry; DOJ inserted itself into Trump’s fight with New York state. Trump’s speech to the UN General Assembly yesterday was noteworthy for its belligerence.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

We think the Fed has signaled that the bar to another cut is high.  Unless the US data weakens considerably, we see rates on hold for now and this means the liquidity story for EM has worsened.  Elsewhere, US-China trade talks appear to be going nowhere.  With no end in sight to the trade war, we remain negative on EM.

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Dollar Mixed on Central Bank Thursday

As expected, the Fed cut rates by 25 bp; the dollar firmed after the decision but has since given back some gains. During the North American session, there will be a fair amount of US data. BOE is expected to keep rates steady; UK reported August retail sales. SNB and BOJ kept rates steady, as expected; Norges Bank unexpectedly hiked 25 bp.

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Some Thoughts on the Fed and Oil Shocks

U.S. GDP Growth, Q1 1973-Q1 1982

Oil prices have spiked after the weekend attack on Saudi oil facilities.  Will it impact the Fed tomorrow?  No.  We compare the current (but still unfolding) situation to past oil shocks from the 1970s and discuss the policy responses taken.  

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Dollar Mixed, Oil Spikes as Markets Digest Saudi Attack

The weekend bombing of Saudi oil facilities continue to reverberate across global markets. The currencies of the oil producing nations are likely to outperform near-term. US rates continue to adjust ahead of the FOMC. UK Prime Minister Johnson is in Luxembourg today to meet with EC President Juncker. China reported weak August IP and retail sales.

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Dollar Soft as Risk Sentiment Stoked Ahead of US Retail Sales

US-China relations appear to be thawing. Trading was volatile after the ECB decision; we are still dollar bulls. EM has benefitted from the shift in the global backdrop this week. The US data highlight is August retail sales. Vietnam cut rates 25 bp to 6.0%; Turkey reported July current account and IP.

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Turkey Monetary Policy Planting Seeds of Future Crisis

Turkey central bank meets September 12 and is expected to cut rates 275 bp.  With Erdogan talking about single digit rates and inflation, it’s clear that rates are headed significantly lower.  At some point soon, we think the risk/reward for investing in Turkey will send investors fleeing for the exits.POLITICAL OUTLOOK
President Erdogan sacked central bank Governor Murat Cetinkaya on July 6, ostensibly for not cutting rates quickly enough.

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EM Preview for the Week Ahead

Despite some positive developments last week, we think the three key issues for risk assets have not been resolved yet.  Hong Kong protests continue, while reports suggest the US and China remain far apart.  Even Brexit has likely been given only a three month reprieve.  We remain negative on EM until these key issues have been ultimately resolved.

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Latest Thoughts on the US Economic Outlook

US GDP, Q1 2012 - 2019

The US economy is starting to show cracks from the ongoing trade war. While we do not want to make too much from one data point, we acknowledge that headwinds are building whilst US recession risks are rising.

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Drivers for the Week Ahead

Emerging Markets Currencies

We remain dollar bulls; this is an important data week for the US. Final August eurozone manufacturing PMIs will be reported Monday; UK reports August PMIs this week. RBA meets Tuesday and is expected to keep rates steady at 1.0%; BOC meets Wednesday and is expected to keep rates steady at 1.75%.

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Emerging Markets: FX Model for Q3 2019

Emerging Markets FX Q3 2019

The broad-based dollar rally remains intact despite the market’s overly dovish take on the Fed. We still believe markets are vastly overestimating the Fed’s capacity to ease in 2019 and 2020. What’s clear is that the liquidity story is not enough to sustain EM. MSCI EM FX is on track to test the September 2018 low near 1575 and then the April 2017 low near 1568.

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Dollar Firm as Markets Calm

Dollar Firm as Markets Calm

Market sentiment has improved after President Trump said China has asked to restart trade talks. PBOC fixed the yuan basically flat and firmer than what models suggested. The G-7 summit wraps up today with little to show for it. We believe the Chicago Fed National Activity Index remains the best indicator to gauge US recession risks. Germany July IFO business climate came in weaker than expected

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DM Equity Allocation Model For Q3 2019

We recently introduced our Developed Markets (DM) Equity Allocation model. Building on the success of our EM model, this new framework extends our analysis to cover 24 DM equity markets. Our analysis is meant to assist global equity investors in assessing relative sovereign risk and optimal asset allocation across countries within the DM universe.

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Dollar Firm Ahead of Jackson Hole

FOMC minutes were not as dovish as many had hoped; bond and equity markets are set up for a big reset. Today sees the start of the annual Fed symposium in Jackson Hole; the US reports a slew of data. Markit flash eurozone August PMI readings were reported; ECB publishes the account of its July 25 meeting.

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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: Preview of the Week Ahead

EM FX closed on a firm note, though most currencies were down for the entire week. TRY and ZAR outperformed, but we do not think that will be sustained. FOMC meeting this week will provide some event risk for EM.

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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 Market Preview for the Week Ahead

EM gained some limited traction as last week ended. However, renewed concerns about China could limit this bounce as President Xi signaled the possibility that growth could fall below the government’s 6.5% target.

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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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