Emerging markets will likely be beholden this week to a series of key decisions in the US.
Top of the list is an announcement due as early as Monday on whether the US Treasury will name China a currency manipulator, a label that may have repercussions for the next phase of the deepening trade dispute between the two countries. Then there’s the Trump administration’s reaction to the freeing of an American pastor held in Turkey for two years. And now, whether Washington will carry through on threats to punish Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of columnist Jamal Khashoggi if the kingdom is found to be responsible.
Whatever unfolds on those fronts will be set against a backdrop of increased concern about monetary-policy tightening around the world and warnings from finance chiefs that a trade war will hurt economic growth.
Developing-nation stocks lost more than 2 per cent last week as a surge in the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield to the highest since 2011 triggered a global equities rout. Still, currencies held their own as the dollar declined, while emerging-market domestic bonds gained.
“We’re still fairly cautious as market volatility is on the rise but EM is in many ways directionless,” said Anders Faergemann, a fund manager at PineBridge Investments in London, which oversees $87 billion (Dh319.4 billion). “We seem to be ignoring both the break in US Treasury yields and the equity market correction, taking our cues from the US dollar, which appears to be in no man’s land.”