(Rio de Janeiro)
The outlook for emerging markets appears to be dimming. While Turkey’s troubles are well-know, widespread weakness in EM currencies is rattling the markets. EM equities are flirting with a bear market and metals prices have dropped sharply, with the latter hurting EM economies in particular. The worries over EM stocks are now seeping into Eurozone banks, where fears for lending losses are rising. One research analyst sums it up this way, saying “The combination of stronger currencies, lower commodity prices, and potentially weaker bank credit creation is a disinflationary headwind for developed markets in the near term”.
FINSUM: There are many factors which seem to be dragging emerging market economies downward, and that may be a bad sign for the global economy as a whole.
Most sources, including FINSUM, have been concluding that the emerging markets flare up centered on Turkey, would not develop into a correction or financial crisis for developed markets. Today that position is looking weaker, as stocks fell sharply across the world yesterday, and commodity markets got routed. Emerging market stock indices have fallen back into a bear market. While EMs fell big, global markets saw share plunges exacerbated by a dismal earnings report for one of China’s big tech companies, which then seeped into tech shares globally.
FINSUM: The narrative here is that Turkey sparked a big selloff and now fears over China will continue to drag EMs down. This could be the start of a global recession, but perhaps it will not be accompanied by huge losses in developed markets.
A lot of investors are worried that the turmoil in Turkey could spark a global financial crisis. In particular, Turkey’s weak position could spread to European banks, letting the situation balloon from there. However, the reality is that such fears are overblown, according to a credit analyst. Europe’s banks are actually in a strong position and can absorb losses from Turkey, so there does not seem to be any contagion to spread. Turkey’s problems are largely self-inflicted and unique as well, so it is hard to see all EMs succumbing to the panic.
FINSUM: From an American investor’s standpoint, the Turkey situation should not be very concerning as it does not seem to have much direct relationship to the US economy or markets. Hence our shares rising while Europe’s are falling.
Investors may be watching the markets anxiously, and with good reason. Turkey is in the middle of a full blown financial crisis, and the threat of it leaking into western markets via European banks seems tangible. Emerging market stocks are down 18% from their peak in January and there is pressure on other EMs like South Africa, China, Russia, and India. However, the worries over a full-scale emerging markets meltdown seem overdone, especially considering the economies of EMs are actually quite strong and healthy at the moment, which should keep things from falling into dire straits.
FINSUM: EMs currently have good currency reserves and many are running budget surpluses, so they are not entering this period of turmoil in weak shape.
If you are a gold bull, this has been a really rough period. While gold has been weakening for years (relative to the market), the last several weeks has been particularly concerning. Despite all the turmoil in global markets that has come alongside Turkey’s financial crisis, gold just hit its weakest level since March 2017. Further, despite many panics in markets this year, gold has fallen 9% and has not gained from its reputation as a safe haven. The rising strength of the US Dollar has not helped gold’s prospects.
FINSUM: Gold is down to around $1,200 an ounce despite all that has happened this year. If the bear market had not been going on so long, it would almost seem like a buying opportunity, but rising rates and a rising Dollar are strong headwinds even if fundamentals changed.
Following a diplomatic spat with the US that has thrust Turkey into an economic tailspin, the country is entering full-blown crisis mode. Turkey’s Lira is down more than 35% this year and fell another 5% overnight. Bond yields are soaring alongside the losses, with the country’s ten-year yielding over 20%, a move exacerbated by Istanbul’s large budget deficit. The crisis is going so badly that the EU is seeking to limit the Eurozone’s banks from exposure to Turkey’s meltdown. BBVA, UniCredit, and BNP Paribas have the most exposure to Turkey.
FINSUM: There is no end in sight to the selloff. The big hope is that Turkey is supposed to unveil a new economic model today that will show how it plans to cut debt and shrink its budget deficit. That would be a start.