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Win Thin

Win Thin

Win Thin is a senior currency strategist with over fifteen 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. He received an MA from Georgetown University in 1985 and a B.A. from Brandeis University 1983. Feel free to contact the Zurich office of BBH

Articles by Win Thin

Emerging Market Preview: Week Ahead

2 days ago

Stock Markets
EM FX came under renewed pressure last week as US yields rose to new highs for the cycle. RUB and TRY were the top performers last week, while MXN and COP were the worst. There are no Fed speakers this week due to the embargo ahead of the May 2 FOMC meeting. While we see little chance of a hike then, markets are likely to remain nervous.

Stock Markets Emerging Markets, April 18 – Click to enlarge

Singapore
Singapore reported March CPI today. It rose 0.2% rather than  0.5% y/y. March IP will be reported Thursday, which is expected to rise 5.3% y/y vs. 8.9% in February. Economic data have come in on the soft side, and so we expect the MAS to keep policy steady at its next meeting in October.

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

3 days ago

Summary
The Reserve Bank of India is tilting more hawkish.
Tensions on the Korean peninsula are easing.
The Trump administration reversed course on Russia sanctions.
Turkey is heading for early elections.
Raul Castro stepped down as president of Cuba.
Mexico polls show continued gains for Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
Stock Markets
In the EM equity space as measured by MSCI, Qatar (+4.8%), Russia (+3.3%), and Singapore (+2.9%) have outperformed this week, while Mexico (-3.1%), Taiwan (-2.4%), and the Philippines (-2.2%) have underperformed. To put this in better context, MSCI EM fell 0.3% this week while MSCI DM rose 0.8%.
In the EM local currency bond space, Turkey (10-year yield -47 bp), China (-19 bp), and Brazil

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

10 days ago

Stock Markets
EM FX was mixed Friday, capping a mixed week as a whole. COP, CLP, and MXN were the best performers last week, while RUB, BRL, and TRY were the worst.  While concerns about trade wars and Syrian missile strikes have ebbed, risks to EM remain elevated. US retail sales Monday and Fed Beige Book Wednesday are the economic highlights this week.

Stock Markets Emerging Markets, April 11 Source: economist.com – Click to enlarge

Indonesia
Indonesia reports March trade Monday. Bank Indonesia meets Thursday and is expected to keep rates steady at 4.25%. CPI rose 3.4% y/y in March, near the bottom of the 3-5% target range. As such, Bank Indonesia should be able to keep rates on hold for most of this

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

12 days ago

Summary
Hong Kong Monetary Authority intervened to defend the HKD peg.
Moody’s upgraded Indonesia by a notch to Baa2 with a stable outlook.
MAS tightened policy by adjusting the slope of its S$NEER trading band up “slightly.”
Hungary Prime Minister Orban won a fourth term for his Fidesz party.
Poland central bank Governor said it’s possible that the next move will be a rate cut.
Russia outlined a range of potential retaliatory measures in response to US sanctions announced last week.
Serbian central bank delivered a second straight dovish surprise, cutting rates by 25 bp to 3%.
Moody’s moved the outlook on Mexico’s A3 rating from negative to stable.
Stock Markets
In the EM equity space as measured by MSCI, Colombia

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

17 days ago

Summary
Reserve Bank of India cut its inflation forecast for the first half of FY2018/19 to 4.7-5.1%.
Former South Korean President Park was sentenced to 24 years in prison.
Malaysia Prime Minister Razak has called for early elections.
Bahrain discovered its biggest oil field since it started producing crude in 1932.
Local press reports Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Simsek tendered his resignation.
Brazilian Supreme Court rejected former President Lula’s plea to remain free while appealing his 12-year prison sentence for corruption.
Brazil Finance Minister Meirelles joined the ruling PMDB.
The US has reportedly softened a key NAFTA demand requiring greater North American content in auto manufacturing.
Stock

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

24 days ago

Stock Markets
EM FX was mostly stronger last week, despite the dollar’s firm tone against the majors. Best EM performers on the week were MXN, KRW, and COP while the worst were ZAR, INR, and PEN. US jobs data poses the biggest risk to EM this week, as US yields have been falling ahead of the data. Indeed, the current US 10-year yield of 2.74% is the lowest since February 6. We remain cautious on EM FX, and do not think it can decouple from the majors if dollar strength continues.

Stock Markets Emerging Markets, April 2 Source: economist.com – Click to enlarge

China
Caixin reports March China manufacturing PMI Monday, which is expected at 51.7 vs. 51.6 in February. The economic outlook remains solid, with

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

March 20, 2018

Stock Markets
EM ended Friday under renewed selling pressures, and capped off a mostly softer week. COP, THB, and TWD were the best performers last week, while TRY, RUB, and ZAR were the worst. Despite a widely expected 25 bp hike, this week’s FOMC meeting still has potential to weigh on EM.

Stock Markets Emerging Markets, March 14 Source: economist.com – Click to enlarge

Poland
Poland reports February industrial and construction output and PPI Monday. Data are expected to slow from January. Real retail sales will be reported Tuesday, which are expected to remain steady at 7.7% y/y. Yet inflation continues to fall.  CPI rose only 1.4% y/y in February, the lowest since December 2016 and below the 1.5-3.5%

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

March 19, 2018

Summary
Hong Kong may impose a tax on unsold apartments as an effort to increase supply and cool off the housing market.
Bank of Israel’s MPC had a split vote last month for the first time in three years.
South Africa President Ramaphosa said the ANC wants Julius Malema of the opposition EFF to rejoin the party.
Former South Africa President Zuma will face trial on 16 criminal charges.
Stock Markets
In the EM equity space as measured by MSCI, Qatar (+8.5%), China (+2.2%), and Hungary (+2.0%) have outperformed this week, while Mexico (-3.0%), South Africa (-3.0%), and Brazil (-2.9%) have underperformed.  To put this in better context, MSCI EM rose 0.4% this week while MSCI DM fell -0.6%.
In the EM local currency bond

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Emerging Markets: Preview Week Ahead

March 12, 2018

Stock Markets
EM FX ended Friday on a firm note and capped off a mostly firmer week. MXN, KRW, and ZAR were the best performers last week, while CLP, CZK, and PLN were the worst. US jobs data was mixed, with markets focusing on weak average hourly earnings rather than on the strong NFP number. Still, the data did nothing to change market expectations for a 25 bp by the FOMC this month.

Stock Markets Emerging Markets, March 07 Source: economist.com – Click to enlarge

Peru
Peru reports February trade this week, but no date has been set. Last week, the central bank cut rates 25 bp to 2.75% and focused on downside risks to the economy. As such, we think the easing cycle is likely to continue. It’s been cutting

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

March 10, 2018

Summary
Indonesia will freeze prices for electricity, gasoline, and diesel fuel until next year.
US President Trump and North Korean President Kim Jong Un will hold a summit meeting this spring.
National Bank of Poland has tilted even more dovish.
Moody’s downgraded Turkey a notch to Ba2 with a stable outlook.
Saudi Arabian Energy Minister hinted that the Aramco IPO could be delayed until 2019.
Tanzania finally obtained a sovereign rating after years of discussion.
Stock Markets
In the EM equity space, as measured by MSCI, Egypt (+10.6%), Mexico (+4.3%), and Hungary (+3.9%) have outperformed this week, while Qatar (-5.1%), India (-2.4%), and Indonesia (-2.2%) have underperformed.  To put this in better context,

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

March 5, 2018

Stock Markets
EM FX ended Friday on a mixed note, capping off a largely softer week.  Best performers last week for MYR and TWD while the worst were ZAR and ARS. US stocks clawed back early losses and ended the week on a firmer note but we think further market turbulence is likely.

Stock Markets Emerging Markets, March 03 Source: economist.com – Click to enlarge

Malaysia
Malaysia reports January trade Monday.  Bank Negara meets Wednesday and is expected to keep rates steady at 3.25%. CPI rose 2.7% y/y in January. While the bank does not have an explicit inflation target, lower price pressures should allow it to hike very cautiously after it started the tightening cycle in January.
Turkey
Turkey reports

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

March 3, 2018

Summary
China plans to change its constitution to eliminate term limits for President Xi Jinping.
Bank Indonesia Deputy Governor Perry Warjiyo was nominated by President Widodo to be the next Governor.
Bank of Korea Governor Lee was reappointed by President Moon for a second term.
Hungary ruling party candidate lost the mayoral vote in Hodmezovasarhely.
S&P upgraded Russia to BBB- with stable outlook.
South Africa President Ramaphosa shuffled his cabinet.
South Africa lawmakers have agreed to the principle of land seizures without compensation.
Peru President Kuczynski is under renewed pressure.
Stock Markets
In the EM equity space as measured by MSCI, Thailand (+1.0%), Hong Kong (+0.5%), and the Philippines (-0.1%)

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

February 26, 2018

Stock Markets
EM FX ended Friday on a mixed note and capped off a soft week overall. Best performers last week were ZAR, CLP, and PHP while the worst were TRY, ARS, and IDR. Fed Chief Powell’s testimony to Congress will likely draw market attention back to Fed policy.

Stock Markets Emerging Markets, February 21 Source: economist.com – Click to enlarge

Singapore
Singapore reports January IP and is expected to rise 7.8% y/y vs. -3.9% in December. February PMI will be reported Friday. January CPI was flat y/y vs. 0.4% expected. While the MAS does not have an explicit inflation target, the lack of any price pressures should allow it to remain on hold at its April policy meeting.
Brazil
Brazil reports January

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

February 24, 2018

Summary
China regulators have taken over Anbang Insurance. Group for at least one year
RBI minutes from this month’s meeting were more hawkish than expected.
The RBI is reportedly reviewing its process for allowing local companies to issue debt overseas.
Effective June 1, IDR-denominated debt becomes eligible for the Barclays Global Aggregate Index.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is coming under increasing pressure.
South African corporates will be impacted by new eligibility rules for the Barclays Global Aggregate Index effective May 1.
South African Finance Minister Gigaba announced fiscal tightening in the first budget under President Ramaphosa.
Moody’s cut the outlook on Colombia’s Baa2 rating from stable to

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

February 19, 2018

Stock Markets
EM FX ended on a mixed note Friday, but capped off a very strong week overall. Best performers over the past week were RUB, ZAR, and COP, while the worst were PHP, CNY, and TWD. There is not much happening this week that could disrupt the weak dollar narrative, and so EM FX should continue to rally.

Stock Markets Emerging Markets, February 14.

Thailand
Thailand reports Q4 GDP Monday, with growth expected to remain steady at 4.3% y/y. Despite the robust economy, price pressures remain low. CPI rose 0.7% y/y in January, below the 1-4% target range. BOT just left rates steady at 1.5% and signaled it was in no hurry to tighten. Next policy meeting is March 28, no change is expected.
Poland
Poland

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

February 17, 2018

Summary
The National Stock Exchange of India will end all licensing agreements and stop offering live prices overseas.
Philippine central bank cut reserve requirements for commercial banks.
Egypt cut rates for the first time since 2015.
Israeli police recommended that Prime Minister Netanyahu be charged.
South Africa President Zuma resigned before a no confidence vote was held.
Brazil President Temer will issue a decree for the military to take control of security in the state of Rio de Janeiro.
Colombia hopes to start an oil hedging program.
Stock Markets
In the EM equity space as measured by MSCI, South Africa (+7.8%), China (+7.2%), and Russia (+6.8%) have outperformed this week, while Egypt (-1.9%), UAE

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Emerging Markets: The Week Ahead

February 12, 2018

Stock Markets
EM FX ended Friday on a mixed note, as risk assets recovered a bit from broad-based selling pressures. Best EM performers on the week were ZAR, PHP, and CNY while the worst were COP, RUB, and ARS. Besides the risk-off impulses still reverberating through global markets, we think lower commodity prices are another headwind on EM.

Stock Markets Emerging Markets, February 07 Source: economist.com – Click to enlarge

China
China is expected to report January money and loan data this week, but no date has been set. Consensus sees an increase in aggregate financing of CNY3.15 trln with new loans making up CNY2.05 trln. For now, we see CNY trading with the rest of EM.  We do not see a deliberate

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

February 10, 2018

Summary
Reuters reported that China may loosen controls on outbound capital flows (QDLP).
Samsung chief Lee was set free in an unexpected court reversal.
Romania central bank hiked rates by 25 bp and raised its inflation forecasts for the next two years.
South Africa President Zuma appears to be on the way out.
Ecuador voters approved a referendum that reinstates term limits for the president.
Venezuela central bank restarted FX auctions for the first time since August and devalued the bolivar by more than 80%.
Stock Markets
In the EM equity space as measured by MSCI, Egypt (-1.0%), Indonesia (-1.5%), and UAE (-1.7%) have outperformed this week, while China (-10.0%), Hong Kong (-7.5%), and Taiwan (-7.4%) have

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

February 5, 2018

Stock Markets
EM FX ended Friday on a weak note and capped off a week of softness. We felt that more and more EM policymakers were getting uncomfortable with FX strength and are likely welcome this recent weakening. However, that’s only if their stock and bond markets hold up, which they are (for now). Friday was clearly the dollar’s day to shine. What’s more important is how the markets trade Monday. Do they sell into USD strength as we’ve seen the last several weeks or do they try and extend USD gains? To be continued……

Stock Markets Emerging Markets, January 31 Source: economist.com – Click to enlarge

Korea
Korea reports December current account data Monday. The external accounts are in good shape, with

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

February 3, 2018

Summary
India plans to increase spending and widen its budget deficit targets ahead of key elections.
India appears to be cracking down on cryptocurrencies.
South Africa’s parliament has scheduled a no- confidence vote for Zuma on February 22.
Turkish central bank raised its end-2018 inflation forecast in its quarterly inflation report.
Peru’s Popular Force party expelled Kenji Fujimori and several of his allies.
Stock Markets
In the EM equity space as measured by MSCI, Czech Republic (+1.0%), Malaysia (+0.4%), and Egypt (+0.4%) have outperformed this week, while South Africa (-6.8%), Peru (-5.0%), and Brazil (-3.7%) have underperformed. To put this in better context, MSCI EM fell -3.4% this week while MSCI DM fell

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

January 29, 2018

Stock Markets
EM FX closed Friday on a mixed note, but still posted solid gains for the week as a whole. Best performers last week were ZAR, PLN, and CZK while the worst were ARS, PHP, and IDR. The bearish dollar environment remains intact and so we see further gains for EM FX this week. However, we continue to warn that divergences within EM are likely to assert themselves.

Stock Markets Emerging Markets, January 27 Source: economist.com – Click to enlarge

Brazil
Brazil reports December central government budget data Monday. A deficit of -BRL25.0 bln is expected. If so, the 12-month total would narrow sharply to -BRL127 bln, the smallest since January 2016.  It then reports consolidated budget data Wednesday.

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

January 27, 2018

Summary
Korea policymakers have asked state-owned banks and companies to limit the issuance of global bonds.
Malaysia’s central bank hiked rates for the first time in four years.
Pakistan’s central bank unexpectedly hiked rates for the first time in over four years.
Moody’s raised its outlook on Russia’s Ba1 rating from stable to positive.
Argentina’s central bank surprised markets with its second straight 75 bp rate cut.
Brazilian appeals court unanimously upheld the graft sentence against former President Lula.
Stock Markets
In the EM equity space as measured by MSCI, Brazil (+7.0%), Turkey (+5.3%), and Colombia (+5.1%) have outperformed this week, while Egypt (-1.3%), Poland (-0.2%), and Taiwan (-0.2%) have

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

January 22, 2018

Stock Markets
EM FX ended last week on a soft note, but still enjoyed a relatively positive tone for the week as a whole. Best performers last week were MXN, ZAR, and CNY while the worst were ARS, TRY, and CLP.  With little on the horizon to give the dollar some traction, we think EM FX will likely continue to firm this week. However, we again urge caution and look for divergences within EM.

Stock Markets Emerging Markets, January 17 Source: economist.com – Click to enlarge

Korea
Korea reports trade data for the first 20 days of January on Monday. It then reports Q4 GDP Thursday, which is expected to grow 3.4% y/y vs. 3.8% in Q3. The recovery continues, but the strong won poses a risk to exports and growth.

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

January 15, 2018

Stock Markets
EM FX continues to rally as the dollar remains on its back foot. With no obvious drivers this week that might help the dollar, we believe EM FX can extend the recent gains. Still, we continue to advise caution when investing in EM, as differentiation should again become evident as idiosyncratic risks remain in play.

Stock Markets Emerging Markets, January 10 Source: economist.com – Click to enlarge

Indonesia
Indonesia reports December trade data Monday. Exports are expected to rise 13.7% y/y and imports by 18.0% y/y. Bank Indonesia then meets Thursday and is expected to keep rates steady at 4.25%. CPI rose 3.6% y/y in December, below the 4% target but within the 3-5% target range. Price pressures

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

January 13, 2018

Summary
China State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) disputed press reports that it was slowing or halting purchases of US Treasury bonds.
Korean officials warned that it will take stern steps to prevent one-sided currency moves.
Bulgaria is talking “intensively” with the ECB and other EU representatives about entering the Exchange Rate Mechanism by mid-year.
Hungary announced general elections on April 8.
Poland’s government shuffled the cabinet.
Romanian central bank unexpectedly hiked rates for the first time in almost a decade.
Angola devalued the kwanza.
S&P downgraded Brazil by a notch to BB- with a stable outlook.
Stock Markets
In the EM equity space as measured by MSCI, Qatar (+6.7%), Egypt

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Emerging Market Preview: Week Ahead

January 8, 2018

Stock Markets
EM FX was mostly firmer last week, but ended on a mixed note Friday.  Best performers on the week for COP, MXN, and BRL while the worst were ARS, PHP, and CNY.  We continue to warn investors against blindly buying into this broad-based EM rally, as we believe divergences will once again assert themselves in the coming weeks.

Stock Markets Emerging Markets, January 03 Source: economist.com – Click to enlarge

Turkey
Turkey reports November IP Monday, which is expected to rise 7.0% y/y vs. 7.3% in October.  Current account data will be reported Friday, and a deficit of -$3.85 bln is expected.  If so, the 12-month total would rise to -$43.5 bln, the highest since December 2014.  The external

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

January 6, 2018

Summary
Tensions on the Korean peninsula appear to be easing.
Relations between Pakistan and the US have worsened.
The Philippine central bank is tilting more hawkish.
The ANC may consider removing Zuma from the presidency at the January 10 meeting of its National Executive Committee.
Turkish banker Atilla was convicted of helping Iran evade US financial sanctions.
Argentina sold $9 bln of dollar-denominated external debt.
Former Peru President Fujimori is now a free man.
Stock Markets
In the EM equity space as measured by MSCI, Peru (+6.4%), Russia (+5.9%), and Colombia (+5.7%) have outperformed this week, while Egypt (-2.5%), Qatar (+0.1%), and South Africa (+0.1%) have underperformed.  To put this in better

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Emerging Markets: What has Changed

December 28, 2017

Summary
Fitch upgraded Indonesia by a notch to BBB with stable outlook.
EU-Poland tensions entered a new phase.
Cyril Ramaphosa was elected as the new ANC President over opponent Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
Argentina’s lower house approved President Macri’s pension reform bill.
Sebastian Pinera won the Chilean presidency in the second round vote.
Mexico political risk is rising as the PRI slush money scandal widens.
Peru’s Congress voted not to impeach President Kuczynski.
Stock Markets
In the EM equity space as measured by MSCI, Peru (+8.2%), Chile (+7.0%), and Qatar (+5.0%) have outperformed this week, while Korea (-1.5%), Russia (-1.4%), and Mexico (-1.2%) have underperformed.  To put this in better context, MSCI EM

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Emerging Market Preview: Week Ahead

December 18, 2017

Stock Markets
EM FX was mixed last week, with political optimism driving the big winners ZAR and CLP.  We remain cautious, as the Fed has signaled its intent to continue tightening in 2018. 

Stock Markets Emerging Markets, December 18 Source: economist.com – Click to enlarge

Brazil
Brazil reports October monthly GDP proxy Monday, which is expected to rise 2.8% y/y vs. 1.3% in September. Brazil then reports November current account and FDI data Wednesday.  It then reports mid-December IPCA inflation Thursday, which is expected to rise 2.95% y/y vs. 2.77% in mid-November. The central bank releases its quarterly inflation report that same day. Last COPOM statement suggested a 25 bp cut to 6.75% could be seen at

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

December 11, 2017

Stock Markets
EM FX closed on a firm note, though most currencies were down for the entire week. TRY and ZAR outperformed, but we do not think that will be sustained.  FOMC meeting this week will provide some event risk for EM.

Stock Markets Emerging Markets, December 06 Source: economist.com – Click to enlarge

China
China reports November money and loan data this week, but no schedule has been set. China reports November retail sales and IP Thursday. The former is expected to rise 10.3% y/y and the latter by 6.2% y/y. The markets appear to be comfortable with China’s economic outlook right now.
Turkey
Turkey reports October current account and Q3 GDP data Monday. Growth is expected at 8.5% y/y, though this

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