Emerging Markets Gripped by Greed Now Turn to Fed for Fresh Spur
(Bloomberg) — Traders are likely putting their trust in the Federal Reserve to provide the next spur to an emerging-market rally that may be showing signs of fatigue.With Friday’s declines delivering a week-ending jolt to the bulls, some of the warning signs took on a more worrying look. The Bloomberg Barclays local-currency bond index registered its first back-to-back weekly drops since June. Bloomberg’s Fear-Greed indicator for the MSCI developing-nation stock gauge — which measures selling strength versus buying strength — climbed to its highest in almost a decade, a sign that gains may have been excessive. The deluge of money to emerging-market exchange-traded funds slowed and a basket of currencies had its worst week since the end of October.Which is why an assurance from the Fed on Wednesday that it will keep the stimulus spigot open via an unaltered bond-buying program is needed to help comfort investors concerned about the delays to a global recovery.“Because of continuing Covid-19 disruption, the recovery in emerging-market growth will, of course, be a stop-start one,” said Hasnain Malik, the Dubai-based head of equity strategy at Tellimer. “But pauses in emerging-market equity performance, particularly in Asia, should be viewed as opportunities.”A slew of economic output data from countries including South Korea, Poland and Mexico this week will give further evidence of the damage from the pandemic. Excluding China, emerging-market activity fell to about 77% below its pre-virus level in the third week of January, according to Bloomberg Economics estimates.Investor anxiety, as measured by implied volatility for currencies and stocks, jumped on Friday by the most in about two weeks. Just 24 hours earlier, optimism over additional U.S. stimulus under President Joe Biden had helped drive a gauge of developing-nation equities to an unprecedented high.Listen: EM Weekly Podcast: FOMC; Biden’s Next Steps; Key Data to WatchTensions between the world’s two largest economies may also be on the radar this week, with the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission due to hold a hearing on Thursday. The commission is mandated by Congress to report annually on the national security implications of the economic relationship between the two countries. In his first address since Biden entered the White House, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on the world to “abandon ideological prejudice” and shun an outdated “Cold-War mentality,” urging a return to mutual respect.Economic PulseAs the focus shifts away from U.S. politics and more governments impose lockdowns to fight the spread of Covid-19, several countries are set to report fourth-quarter growth dataBloomberg Economics expect South Korea’s gross domestic product data to come in significantly below consensus, arguing that private consumption will be the main drag on growth, as the year-end virus surge and tightened social distancing measures weigh on incomes and spendingThe won has been emerging Asia’s worst-performing currency so far this yearFigures from the Philippines on Thursday are expected to show continued significant year-over-year contractionThe data may come in below consensus because of “prolonged movement restrictions and limited fiscal support,” according to Bloomberg Economics. In addition, a spate of strong typhoons in October and November likely added further downward pressureTaiwan’s data will be released on Friday, with economists surveyed by Bloomberg expecting a 3.55% year-over-year rebound for the fourth quarterThe numbers will be buoyed by “strong export performance, while private consumption also rebounded, in part thanks to the government’s cash vouchers and tourism subsidies,” according to BarclaysThe authorities’ battle against local-currency appreciation continues, with a clamp down on grain companies and their banking partnersData published on Monday showed industrial output rose 9.9% in December from a year earlierPoland’s gross domestic product published on either Wednesday, Thursday or Friday is forecast to have contracted 2.7% in 2020, compared with a 4.5% expansion the year beforeA preliminary reading of Mexico’s fourth-quarter gross domestic product on Friday will probably show the economy is recovering, while remaining below pre-pandemic levelsMexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he’s infected with Covid-19 after the country posted record increases in cases and fatalities from the outbreak in the past weekCentral Banks DecideHungary’s central bank is predicted to leave its benchmark rate unchanged at 0.6% on TuesdayThe forint is the best-performing emerging-market currency this yearPolicy makers in Colombia will probably leave interest rates on hold on Wednesday during their first meeting under new central bank Governor Leonardo VillarBloomberg Economics expects the decision to be split, as it was in December, with a few policy makers voting for a 25 basis-point cutWhile Chile’s central bank is expected to keep its key policy rate steady on Wednesday, investors will be watching for any hint on the future path of policyWhat to WatchWorld leaders and prominent figures in finance are speaking at the virtual World Economic ForumVietnam’s twice-a-decade National Congress kicks off on Monday. Bloomberg economics expects the leaders to allow more flexibility in the dong’s exchange rateRussian assets may be under pressure after supporters of opposition leader Alexey Navalny held the country’s biggest anti-Kremlin protests since at least 2018The ruble was the worst performer after Brazil’s real on Friday as oil prices declinedTurkey and Greece agreed on Monday to keep talking as the two countries seek to defuse years of conflict over sovereignty and energy rightsSouth Korea’s January consumer confidence is out on Wednesday. The lockdown may have continued to impact sentiment, which slumped in DecemberNote that the average Goldman Sachs lockdown index for the country had risen an average 6.7 points to Jan. 15 from December’s averageIndustrial production numbers will be released on Friday. Consensus expects continued improvement in seasonally adjusted month-on-month terms, as demand for tech products remains robustThe Philippines’ December trade data Wednesday are likely to show a continued deficit and slow recovery in export growthChina’s industrial profit growth for December is forecast to show continued rapid expansion; the data is due on WednesdayThe figures may have shown the second-biggest increase since July 2018, according to Bloomberg Economics. This would reflect a pickup in production, double-digit growth in exports and narrower producer price deflation. A lower year-earlier base may also benefit the readingOfficial PMIs are out on Sunday, with consensus expecting both manufacturing and services to coolThe Chinese authorities continue to battle yuan appreciation with weaker-than-expected fixings and state-bank buying of dollar-yuan; the yuan remains the strongest-performing Asian currency in 2021 so farRead: Surge in USD/CNY Conversion Rates Augurs Well for Yuan in 2021The Thai manufacturing production index for December is likely to come in close to flat after trade data on Friday surprised with exports rising more-than-expectedCurrent-account numbers are due on Friday, and are likely to show a continued deficit of about $1 billionMalaysia trade data will be released on Friday and are expected to show a near record surplus of about 25 billion ringgit, according to economists surveyed by BloombergRead: Lockdown Will Take Toll on Malaysia’s Longer Bonds: SEAsia RatesRussia’s industrial output data for December slid on MondaySouth Africa’s trade balance data for December published on Friday are set to show the country’s surplus narrowedThe rand is one of the worst-performing currencies this yearData due Friday will probably show that Turkey’s trade deficit narrowed in DecemberGoldman Sachs revised its forecasts for the Turkish currency again, projecting further gains in the near term but warning that “the extent of lira appreciation may be limited”The decline in Mexico’s November economic activity slowed from a year priorRetail sales data on Tuesday may also add fresh evidence of the country’s economic reboundReadings of Chile’s December retail sales, unemployment and copper production in be released on FridayIn Brazil, investors will scrutinize a reading of the bi-weekly consumer-price index on Tuesday for further evidence of a pick-up in inflationary pressures after the central bank adopted a more hawkish tone last weekDecember’s primary budget-balance figures are due a day later; national unemployment data for the same month come on ThursdayThe real is the worst-performing currency in emerging markets this yearFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.