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Brown Brothers Harriman: Emerging Markets Preview for the Week Ahead

Brown Brothers Harriman: Emerging Markets Preview for the Week Ahead

EM FX was whipsawed last week by conflicting Fed views and softer than expected US weekly earnings. We continue to believe that the bar is set very high for a rate cut this year, and that markets have not adjusted accordingly yet. The divergence theme that favors the dollar should come back to the forefront as RBA, RBNZ, and Norges Bank are all likely to deliver dovish holds. Indeed, there are significant risks of rate cuts by the Antipodeans.

Caixin reports April China services and composite PMIs Monday. April trade data will be reported Wednesday. Exports are expected to rise 3.0% y/y while imports are expected to contract -2.0% y/y. April CPI and PPI will be reported Thursday. CPI is expected to rise 2.5% y/y and PPI by 0.6% y/y.

Hungary reports March retail sales Monday. March IP will be reported Wednesday, which is expected to rise 6.0% y/y WDA vs. 5.9% in February. April CPI and March trade will be reported Thursday. CPI is expected to rise 3.9% y/y vs. 3.7% in March. Next policy meeting is May 28, no change is expected then.

Bank Negara Malaysia meets Tuesday and is expected to keep rates steady at 3.25%. March While the central bank does not have an explicit inflation target, low price pressures should allow it to remain on hold this year. IP will be reported Friday, which is expected to rise 2.0% y/y vs. 1.7% in February. CPI rose 0.2% y/y in March.

Philippine reports April CPI Tuesday, which is expected to rise 3.1% y/y vs. 3.3% in March. If so, inflation would be the lowest since December 2017 and near the 3% target. March trade will be reported Wednesday. The central bank then meets Thursday and is expected to cut rates 25 bp to 4.5%.

Taiwan reports April CPI and trade Tuesday. CPI is expected to rise 0.5% y/y vs. 0.6% in March. Exports are expected to contract -3.3% y/y while imports are expected to rise 2.9% y/y. While the central bank does not have an explicit inflation target, low price pressures should allow it to remain on hold this year.

Czech Republic reports March retail sales Tuesday, which are expected to rise 1.9% y/y vs. 3.8% in February.March industrial and construction output as well as trade will be reported Thursday. The bank just hiked 25 bp to 2.0% but signaled steady rates going forward. Next policy meeting is June 26, no change is expected then.

Chile reports April trade Tuesday. April CPI will be reported Wednesday, which is expected to rise 2.1% y/y vs. 2.0% in March. If so, inflation would remain near the bottom of the 2-4% target range. The central bank then meets Thursday and is expected to keep rates steady at 3.0%. Consensus sees the next hike in Q4, but much will depend on the global backdrop then.

Bank of Thailand meets Wednesday and is expected to keep rates steady at 1.75%. CPI rose 1.2% in April, still near the bottom of the 1-4% target range. Consensus sees the next hike coming in 2020. We concur and see steady rates this year.

Brazil COPOM meets Wednesday and is expected to keep rates steady at 6.5%. March retail sales will be reported Thursday, which are expected to contract -2.5% y/y vs. +3.9% in February. April IPCA inflation will be reported Friday and is expected to rise 4.99% y/y vs. 4.58% in March. If so, it would be the highest since January 2017 and nearing the top of the 2.75-5.75% target range. Markets do not expect a rate hike until early 2020. If price pressures continue to rise, we cannot rule out a hike in H2 2019.

South Africa reports March manufacturing production Thursday, which is expected to rise 0.1% y/y vs. 0.6% in February. Next policy meeting is May 23, no change is expected then. Elections will be held Wednesday, but final results are not expected until Friday. No exit polls will be published. Recent polls suggest the ANC will win somewhere between 51-61% of the vote.

Mexico reports April CPI Thursday, which is expected to rise 4.4% y/y vs. 4.0% in March. If so, inflation would be the highest since December and further above the 2-4% target range. Next policy meeting is May 16, no change is expected then. Indeed, any notions of easing this year appear unlikely. March IP will be reported Friday.

Peru central bank meets Thursday and is expected to keep rates steady at 2.75%. CPI rose 2.6% y/y in April, above the 2% target but within the 1-3% target range. The bank has kept rates steady since its last 25 bp cut back in March 2018. Consensus sees a hike in Q2, but we believe it will remain on hold until the global economic backdrop becomes clearer.

 

About the Author

Win Thin, Global Head of Emerging Markets, Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.

Win Thin is the Global Head of Emerging Markets Strategy and has over 25 years of investment experience. He has a broad international background with a special interest in developing markets. Prior to joining BBH in June 2007, he founded Mandalay Advisors, an independent research firm that provided sovereign emerging market analysis to institutional investors. Prior to that, Win was a vice president and international economist, covering major emerging markets in Asia and Latin America for Alliance Capital Management

 

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