Many emerging markets were in recession last year and are only slowly emerging. Tight financial conditions and flat to inverted yield curves will make the recovery slow and fraught with risks. Global growth will be lower as a result.
The debate on EM economies (and equities) is heating up. Initially this week, we had the financial world equivalent of the pillory with the widely reported closing of a high profile US hedge fund’s EM fund due to heavy losses in 2013. Solemn nodding followed by EM naysayers suggesting that this is truly a sign of the death-knell of EM as an asset class. The stakes are being raised elsewhere too with the media pitting seasoned investment professionals on both sides of the fence in recent weeks.
Emerging markets are being blamed on just about all hiccups and bad surprises currently befalling the global economy and financial markets. However, this is slightly unwarranted and, in any case, not consistent with the evidence. Out of the 9 equity markets up on the month, Indonesia, Hungary, Peru, the Philippines and the Czech Republic are among them.
One of the points we have emphasized to clients in the past two months is that many of our indicators suggest that long rates in the US may not rise as aggressively as the consensus expects. In other words, the Fed might stay more dovish than the market expects and tapering, should it occur, is already priced in.
Our real narrow money index continues to decline and is sending an increasingly bearish cyclical signal for the global economy and commodity prices. Our real narrow money index has now declined for 4 months running and is now tracking below 7% for the first time since October 2010.
Below is an excerpt from our weekly report from last Wednesday. On Friday, Moody’s downgraded Ukraine to Caa1 (from B3), citing plummeting FX reserves, downside risk from future negotiations with the IMF, and Ukraine’s worsening relations with Russia. Less reported…
One concrete example where the recent sharp drawdown in the FX rate may herald better times ahead is in Brazil. As in most other emerging markets, a weaker currency is a double – edged sword. If it happens too quickly it can cause a run on FX reserves and add to inflation risks.
Since tapering discussions pushed up yields in the US, this has led to a steepening of yield curves across the developed world. The US has seen the greatest steepening, which argues for higher growth in the US ahead. However, the…
Our leading indicator for Brazil continues to imply significantly higher growth in Brazil and the economy is starting to respond. Of course, recent positive growth surprises have taken a backseat to the increase in EM market volatility . The Brazilian real has weakened, equities have sold off and yields have risen driven by a rise in US 10y yields. That together with a hawkish central bank has added to the squeeze on economic activity.
The aggregate real global policy rate is still firmly negative due to the commitment to low interest rates in the major G4 economies, but we are seeing notable divergence between economies. The UK remains a textbook example of stagflation while real rates also differ markedly between emerging economies.