Natalia Gurushina, Economist, Emerging Markets Fixed Income
January 03, 2020
Today’s emerging markets (EM) price action is mostly driven by a spike in geopolitical tensions. Mexico’s activity gauges weakened further in December, decoupling from the rest of EM.
The news about a U.S. airstrike that killed a top Iranian military leader is driving the markets this morning, with rising geopolitical tensions (specifically, the nature of Iran’s retaliation) and the price of oil being main concerns. There are signs of currency interventions in several emerging markets—Indonesia (confirmed by the central bank), Chile (scheduled) and Turkey (state banks appear to be defending 6.0 TRY/USD level). Turkey’s action should be considered in a context of a bigger than expected inflation spike in December (both core and headline). And this, in turn, might lead to a pause in the rate cutting cycle. So, the Turkish central bank’s meeting on January 16 should be closely watched.
Mexico’s activity gauges continue to move in the wrong direction—clearly decoupling from EM peers (see chart below). The manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) fell to 47.1 in December, with the new orders index reaching the lowest level since the series began. The economy enters the year with a growth outlook that is challenging at best. It remains to be seen, however, how much support it can get from the central bank. The latest minutes (released yesterday) were less dovish than expected, with inflation risks and recent wage hikes dominating the discussion.
Argentine assets took some beating this morning following a warning from the U.S. that President Alberto Fernandez’s foreign policy could affect relations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The U.S. was particularly unhappy about Argentina granting asylum to Bolivian ex-president Evo Morales and relations with Venezuela. While this is not a good headline, it looks more like a negotiation technique then a change in the direction.
Chart at a Glance: Mexico’s Manufacturing Gauge – Out of Synch
Source: Bloomberg LP
IMPORTANT DEFINITIONS & DISCLOSURES
PMI – Purchasing Managers’ Index: economic indicators derived from monthly surveys of private sector companies; ISM – Institute for Supply Management PMI: ISM releases an index based on more than 400 purchasing and supply managers surveys; both in the manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries; CPI – Consumer Price Index: an index of the variation in prices paid by typical consumers for retail goods and other items; PPI – Producer Price Index: a family of indexes that measures the average change in selling prices received by domestic producers of goods and services over time; PCE inflation – Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index: one measure of U.S. inflation, tracking the change in prices of goods and services purchased by consumers throughout the economy; MSCI – Morgan Stanley Capital International: an American provider of equity, fixed income, hedge fund stock market indexes, and equity portfolio analysis tools; VIX – CBOE Volatility Index: an index created by the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), which shows the market's expectation of 30-day volatility. It is constructed using the implied volatilities on S&P 500 index options.; GBI-EM – JP Morgan’s Government Bond Index – Emerging Markets: comprehensive emerging market debt benchmarks that track local currency bonds issued by Emerging market governments.; EMBI – JP Morgan’s Emerging Market Bond Index: JP Morgan's index of dollar-denominated sovereign bonds issued by a selection of emerging market countries; EMBIG - JP Morgan’s Emerging Market Bond Index Global: tracks total returns for traded external debt instruments in emerging markets.
The information presented does not involve the rendering of personalized investment, financial, legal, or tax advice. This is not an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation of any offer to buy or sell any of the securities mentioned herein. Certain statements contained herein may constitute projections, forecasts and other forward looking statements, which do not reflect actual results. Certain information may be provided by third-party sources and, although believed to be reliable, it has not been independently verified and its accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed. Any opinions, projections, forecasts, and forward-looking statements presented herein are valid as the date of this communication and are subject to change.
Investing in international markets carries risks such as currency fluctuation, regulatory risks, economic and political instability. Emerging markets involve heightened risks related to the same factors as well as increased volatility, lower trading volume, and less liquidity. Emerging markets can have greater custodial and operational risks, and less developed legal and accounting systems than developed markets.
All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest. As with any investment strategy, there is no guarantee that investment objectives will be met and investors may lose money. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss in a declining market. Past performance is no guarantee of future performance.
Web Access Notice: VanEck is committed to ensuring accessibility of its website for investors and potential investors, including those with disabilities. If you have difficulty accessing any feature or functionality on the VanEck website, please feel free to call us at 800.826.2333 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
This website is published in the United States for residents of specified countries. Investors are subject to securities and tax regulations within their applicable jurisdictions that are not addressed on this website. Nothing on this website should be considered a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell shares of any investment in any jurisdiction where the offer or solicitation would be unlawful under the securities laws of such jurisdiction, nor is it intended as investment, tax, financial, or legal advice. Investors should seek such professional advice for their particular situation and jurisdiction.
Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. An investor should carefully consider investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. This and other information can be found in the appropriate regulatory documents made available for a specified country as designated in this website.
Van Eck Associates Corporation 666 Third Avenue New York, NY 10017800.826.2333