By Susan Mathew
June 18 (Reuters) – The Turkish lira firmed up to 1% on Friday but was set for its worst weekly performance in two months after a hawkish Fed and political risks left emerging markets bruised.
An index of emerging currencies was set for its worst week in nine months. Emerging equities snapped a four-week winning streak, weighed down by losses in China which is seeing renewed tensions with the West.
Analysts at BCA Research expect EM currencies slide to relapse in the coming months.
“(But) EM fundamentals are now much better than they were heading into the Taper Tantrum in the spring of 2013… (so) a selloff in EM currencies and fixed-income markets will not last long and will offer a very good buying opportunity later this year.”
The lira has so far fallen 3.3% this week and is just a little over a percent away from recent record lows. It clawed back some losses after Thursday’s steep decline when Turkey’s central bank struck a relatively hawkish tone though it appears to have merely postponed policy easing beyond the July-August timeline set by President Tayyip Erdogan.
Year-to-date the lira is down over 14%, hit by Erdogan’s firing of a respected central bank governor which led to fears of a dovish tilt to monetary policy.
“(Erdogan) is likely to get increasingly impatient and vent his frustrations in the media if rate cuts were not delivered,” said Commerzbank analysts.
“Whether he will make another drastic change at the central bank by decree or not remains to be seen, but his open conflict with central bank policy will, alone, suffice to drive risk premia wider and the exchange rate down.”
Erdogan’s meeting this week with U.S. President Joe Biden yield breakthroughs on strained bilateral ties, either.
Turkey’s central bank met a day after the U.S. Federal Reserve signalled interest rate rises in 2023, dealing a blow to emerging market assets.
South Africa’s rand has fallen about 5% from 2021 highs hit just last week, while Russia’s rouble is set to break a four-week winning streak.
Russia’s capital Moscow is also being gripped by pandemic worries stemming from a new coronavirus variant that is more aggressive and infectious and could cause activity restrictions to be reimposed.
The rouble inched up after a 0.5% gain on Thursday when it was supported by robust oil price.
JPMorgan said in a note that weekly inflows into EM bonds this week fell about 16% from last week, while EM equities saw outflows of $243 million.
For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance in 2021, see http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance in 2021, see https://tmsnrt.rs/2OusNdX
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(Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru and Marc Jones in London; Editing by Sujata Rao and Shailesh Kuber)
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