EM: FX nears six-week peak on easing trade worries, stimulus hopes

Developing world currencies rose for the eighth straight session on Friday to a near six-week high on signs of a thaw in US-China trade tensions and monetary easing in the eurozone and Turkey.

MSCI’s index of EM currencies advanced as investors’ appetite for risk dented the dollar.

The South African rand firmed 0.3%, set for its fourth week of gains, while the Russian rouble climbed 0.7%, looking at its best five-day gain since June.

China resumed purchased of US farm products, a move seen as a goodwill gesture before trade talks next month. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he did not rule out the possibility of an interim pact, although he said an “easy” agreement would not be possible.

European Central Bank on Thursday pledged indefinite stimulus to revive an ailing eurozone economy, setting the stage for a 25 basis point reduction in key borrowing costs from the US Federal Reserve next week.

“A global skew for looser monetary policies has an unambiguous positive effect on emerging market assets and risk appetite, at least for the short term,” TD Securities analysts said in a note.

“This can only help the case for further Turkish easing … at the October and December meetings to the tune of 350 bps and 175 bps, respectively.”

The Turkish lira fell 0.4%, a day after recording its best one-day percentage rise in 10-weeks when its central bank cut its policy rate by 325 points to 16.5%, roughly as expected.

This is the central bank’s second marked policy easing in two months as it seeks to boost a recession-hit economy, a sharp reversal from its aggressive policy tightening last year.

Mainland China, South Korea and Taiwan markets were shut for public holidays. China’s yuan strengthened 0.4% in offshore trading.

MSCI’s EM index for stocks was 0.5% higher, on pace for its fourth weekly rise with indexes in Poland, Turkey, South Africa up between 0.2% and 0.5%.

Source: moneyweb.co.za