Expert Zone

Straight from the Specialists

Why the Fed is not worried by emerging market moves

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

Several emerging market central banks have been forced to react to market events already this year. Interest rate increases in India, Turkey and South Africa followed bond or currency market volatility. Argentina has endured dramatic moves in its currency, and Brazil has been forced to tighten policy.

The moves in these markets, unlike those of 1997-1998, do not suggest a systemic threat to all emerging markets. Investors have distinguished markets where errors in fiscal policy, monetary policy or political risk created a fundamental mispricing. Such errors are generally most visible in a current account deficit or a government budget deficit, or both.

The prospect of rising global bond yields has offered investors alternative investment opportunities to these troubled countries, with fewer risks. Countries that have followed a more orthodox policy approach, and have generous foreign exchange reserves and current account surpluses or equilibrium have been less threatened.

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