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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

18 days ago

Stock Markets
EM FX ended Friday mixed, capping off a mostly softer week. TRY, MXN, and RUB were the top performers and the only ones up against USD, while ARS, CLP, and BRL were the worst.  Looking ahead, US jobs data on Friday pose some risks to EM, coming on the heels of a higher than expected 2% y/y rise in PCE. China will also remain on the market’s radar screen, with the first snapshots of June economic activity just starting to emerge. We remain negative on EM FX.

Stock Markets Emerging Markets, June 27 – Click to enlarge

Mexico
Mexico reports June PMI Monday. Banco de Mexico releases its minutes Thursday. At that meeting, it hiked rates 25 bp ahead of the election. If markets react badly to the

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

19 days ago

Summary
PBOC fixed USD/CNY at the highest level since December 14.
Bank Indonesia delivered a larger than expected 50 bp to 5.25%.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov survived a second no-confidence vote this year.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was re-elected but with sweeping new powers.
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and UAE are reportedly in talks to help stabilize Bahrain.
The South African Reserve Bank basically ruled out further easing.
Brazil government cut the inflation target to 3.75% +/- 1.5 percentage point for 2021.
Stock Markets
In the EM equity space as measured by MSCI, Mexico (+3.8), Colombia (+2.9%), and the Russia (+2.3%) have outperformed this week, while China (-3.5%), Chile (-2.9%), and

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

25 days ago

Stock Markets
EM FX ended Friday mixed, and capped off a mixed week overall as the dollar’s broad-based rally was sidetracked. EM may start the week on an upbeat after PBOC cut reserve requirements over the weekend. Best EM performers last week were ARS, MXN, and TRY while the worst were THB, IDR, and BRL.

Stock Markets Emerging Markets, June 20 – Click to enlarge

Indonesia
Indonesia reports May trade Monday. Exports are expected to rise 6% y/y and imports by 12% y/y. Bank Indonesia meets Thursday and is expected to hike rates 25 bp to 5.0%. Though inflation remains low, the bank has hiked twice already to help support the rupiah.
Singapore
Singapore reports May CPI Monday, which is expected to rise 0.3% y/y

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

26 days ago

Summary
Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus was named the new Governor of Malaysia’s central bank.
Moody’s cut the outlook on Pakistan’s B3 rating to negative from stable.
National Bank of Hungary tiled more hawkish.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife was charged with misusing public funds.
MSCI added Saudi Arabia and Argentina to its Emerging Markets index
Brazil’s government its split on the inflation target for 2021.
Ivan Duque will be the next president of Colombia.
Stock Markets
In the EM equity space as measured by MSCI, Mexico (+2.4), Turkey (+1.7%), and Russia (+1.5%) have outperformed this week, while the Philippines (-6.6%), UAE (-4.3%), and Thailand (-3.9%) have underperformed. To put this in better

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

June 19, 2018

Stock Markets
EM FX was mixed on Friday but capped off a largely losing week. MYR, CLP, and CNY were the best performers over the last week, while ARS, TRY, and ZAR were the worst. We expect EM FX to continue weakening, but note that with very few fundamental drivers this week, we may see some consolidation near-term.

Stock Markets Emerging Markets, June 13 – Click to enlarge

Singapore
Singapore reports May trade Monday, with NODX expected to rise 4.6% y/y vs. 11.8% in April. Retail sales came in much weaker than expected for April, with headline rising 0.4% y/y and ex-autos 0.7% y/y. The October MAS policy meeting is still a few months away, but recent softness in the economy supports our view that it will

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

June 18, 2018

Summary
US-China trade tensions are rising.
Pakistan devalued the rupee for a third time since December.
Bulgaria will seek to join the eurozone banking union and ERM-2 simultaneously.
The National Bank of Hungary appears to have tilted more hawkish.
Newly elected Egyptian President El-Sisi shuffled his cabinet.
Argentina has a new central bank chief after Federico Sturzenegger resigned.
Chile central bank signaled that the policy rate is likely to rise before year-end.
Stock Markets
In the EM equity space as measured by MSCI, Mexico (+0.9), India (+0.6%), and UAE (+0.3%) have outperformed this week, while Peru (-3.8%), Brazil (-3.6%), and Philippines (-3.0%) have underperformed. To put this in better context, MSCI

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

June 12, 2018

Stock Markets
EM FX ended Friday on a mixed note, capping off a roller coaster week for some of the more vulnerable currencies. We expect continued efforts by EM policymakers to inject some stability into the markets. However, we believe the underlying dollar rally remains intact. Central bank meetings in the US, eurozone, and Japan this week are likely to drive home that point.

Stock Markets Emerging Markets, June 6 Source: economist.com – Click to enlarge

China
China reports May money and new loan data this week, but no date has been set. It reports May retail sales and IP Thursday. The former is expected to rise 9.6% y/y while the latter is expected to rise 7.0% y/y. Overall, markets remain comfortable with

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

June 11, 2018

Summary
The Reserve Bank of India hiked rates for the first time since 2014.
Malaysia’s central bank governor resigned.
Czech central bank tilted more hawkish.
Russia central bank tilted more dovish.
Argentina got a $50 bln standby program from the IMF.
Brazil central bank signaled more aggressive FX intervention ahead.
Mexico trade tensions with US are rising.
Peru has a new Finance Minister.
Stock Markets
In the EM equity space as measured by MSCI, Qatar (+4.6), UAE (+3.5%), and Poland (+2.7%) have outperformed this week, while Brazil (-5.4%), Turkey (-2.6%), and Russia (-2.0%) have underperformed. To put this in better context, MSCI EM rose 0.5% this week while MSCI DM rose 1.2%.
In the EM local currency bond

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

June 5, 2018

Stock Markets
EM FX put in a mixed performance Friday, and capped off an overall mixed week. Over that week, the best performers were IDR, TRY, and INR while the worst were BRL, MXN, and ARS. US yields are recovering and likely to put renewed pressure on EM FX.

Stock Markets Emerging Markets, May 30 Source: economist.com – Click to enlarge

Indonesia
Indonesia reports May CPI Monday, which is expected to rise 3.3% y/y vs. 3.4% in April. If so, it would remain near the bottom of the 3-5% target range. However, we think the weak rupiah will keep Bank Indonesia in tightening mode. Next policy meeting is June 28, and another 25 bp hike is likely.
Turkey
Turkey reports May CPI Monday, which is expected to rise

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Emerging Market Preview: Week Ahead

June 1, 2018

Stock Markets
EM FX has started the week mixed. Some relief was seen as US rates stalled out last week, but this Friday’s jobs number could be key for the next leg of this dollar rally. On Wednesday, the Fed releases its Beige book for the upcoming June 13 FOMC meeting, where a 25 bp hike is widely expected. We believe EM FX remains vulnerable to further losses.

Stock Markets Emerging Markets, May 23 Source: economist.com – Click to enlarge

Brazil
Brazil reports April central government budget data Tuesday, where a BRL3 bln primary surplus is expected. Consolidated budget data will be reported Wednesday, along with Q1 GDP. Growth is expected to slow to 0.9% y/y from 2.1% in Q4. The decision to freeze diesel

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

May 28, 2018

Summary
President Trump canceled the planned summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.
Malaysia’s new Finance Minister Lim was sworn in along with 13 other cabinet ministers.
Philippine central bank cut reserve ratios for commercial banks by one percentage point to 18% effective June 1.
The United Arab Emirates opened up its economy to more foreign investment.
Brazil state-run oil company Petrobras cut the price of diesel fuel by 10% for two weeks.
Brazil President Temer dropped his reelection bid and endorsed former Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles.
The US tightened sanctions on Venezuela following President Maduro’s controversial election victory.
Stock Markets
In the EM equity space as measured by MSCI,

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

May 22, 2018

Stock Markets
EM FX ended Friday on a weak note and extended the slide. For the week as a whole, the best EM performers were PHP, TWD, and SGD while the worst were ARS, ZAR, and TRY. With US rates continuing to move higher, we believe selling pressures on EM FX will remain in play this week. Our recently updated EM Vulnerability Table supports our view that divergences within EM will remain.

Stock Markets Emerging Markets, May 16 – Click to enlarge

Korea
Korea reports trade data for the first 20 days of May Monday. Bank of Korea meets Thursday and is expected to keep rates steady at 1.5%. CPI rose 1.6% y/y in April, below the 2% target for the seventh straight month. KRW has remained fairly steady during

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

May 21, 2018

Summary
Bank Indonesia started a tightening cycle with a 25 bp hike to 4.5%.
Jailed Malaysia opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was released by new Prime Minister Mahathir.
Malaysia scrapped the controversial 6% goods and services tax (GST).
Violent protests shook Israel as the relocated US embassy opened in Jerusalem.
Argentina committed to fiscal tightening as part of a comprehensive IMF program.
Brazil central bank delivered a hawkish surprise and kept rates steady at 6.5%.
Mexico has started its annual oil hedging program.
Stock Markets
In the EM equity space as measured by MSCI, Qatar (+2.5), Czech Republic (+0.8%), and Turkey (+0.4%) have outperformed this week, while Brazil (-8.2%), Mexico (-5.8%), and

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Emerging Markets: Preview of the Week Ahead

May 14, 2018

Stock Markets
EM FX ended Friday on a week note and capped of another generally negative week.  Worst performers last week were ARS, BRL, and TRY while the best were ZAR, RUB, and KRW. We remain negative on EM FX and look for losses to continue. US retail sales data Tuesday pose further downside risks to EM FX.

Stock Markets Emerging Markets, May 08 – Click to enlarge

India
India reports April WPI and CPI Monday. The former is expected to rise 2.9% y/y vs. 2.5% in March, while the latter is expected to rise 4.4% y/y vs. 4.3% in March. If so, inflation would remain in the upper half of the 2-6% target range. Next RBI policy meeting is June 6, and no change is expected then.
Turkey
Turkey reports April

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Emerging Markets Preview: The Week Ahead

May 8, 2018

Stock Markets
EM FX came under intense selling pressures last week. The worst performers were ARS, TRY, and MXN while the best were PHP, KRW, and TWD. US rates are likely to remain the key driver for EM FX, and so PPI and CPI data will be closely watched this week. We believe EM FX will remain under pressure.

Stock Markets Emerging Markets, May 08 – Click to enlarge

Indonesia
Indonesia reports Q1 GDP Monday, with growth expected to remain steady at 5.2% y/y. Price pressures remain low, but the weak rupiah is likely to push Bank Indonesia into a more hawkish stance this year. Next policy meeting is May 17, and rates are likely to be kept steady at 4.25%.
Czech Republic
Czech Republic reports March

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Emerging Markets: What Changed

May 7, 2018

Summary
Bank Indonesia is taking measures to stabilize the local bond market.
The Philippine central bank is tilting more hawkish.
Czech National Bank cut its inflation forecasts.
The Turkish government is loosening fiscal policy to drum up popular support.
S&P downgraded Turkey to BB- with stable outlook.
Argentina officials are taking significant measures to support the peso.
Brazil central bank made a subtle shift in its FX intervention strategy.
Stock Markets
In the EM equity space as measured by MSCI, Hong Kong (flat), South Africa (flat), and China (-0.2%) have outperformed this week, while Mexico (-5.9%), Brazil (-5.2%), and Turkey (-4.7%) have underperformed. To put this in better context, MSCI EM fell -1.7%

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Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

April 30, 2018

Stock Markets
EM FX ended Friday on a firm note, capping off a generally softer week overall. TRY and PHP were the best performers last week, while CLP and ZAR were the worst. US core PCE, ISM manufacturing, FOMC meeting, and jobs data all pose risks to EM this week. We remain a bit defensive on risk assets in general now.

Stock Markets Emerging Markets, April 25 – Click to enlarge

Korea
Korea reports March IP Monday, which is expected at -1.6% y/y vs. -6.4% in February. It then reports April trade Tuesday, with exports expected to rise 3.9% y/y vs. 6.1%in February. April CPI will be reported Wednesday, which is expected to rise 1.5% y/y vs. 1.3% in March. If so, inflation would remain below the 2% target

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Emerging Market Preview: Week Ahead

April 24, 2018

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

April 23, 2018

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

April 16, 2018

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

April 14, 2018

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

April 9, 2018

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

April 2, 2018

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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