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Why One Trader Thinks The Turkish Crash Will Lead To EM Contagion

Why One Trader Thinks The Turkish Crash Will Lead To EM Contagion

Yesterday when we discussed the dramatic crash in the Turkish lira, resulting from the visa suspension drama at both Turkish and US consulates, we noted that “this is the currency’s seventh consecutive decline, after dropping on Friday amid concern Fed tightening would hurt EM currencies, and should it persist may finally have an adverse impact on other EM currencies, not to mention various other local Turkish asset classes when markets reopen in a few hours.”

Well, it’s now a few hours later, and as expected the selloff has spread, with the Borsa Istanbul 100 Index dropping as much as 4.7% to the lowest since June 21: the selloff was the biggest one-day drop since the “failed coup” of July 18, 2016; with the index breaking below 100-DMA, and now in a correction, down 10% since peak in late August. Among biggest decliners on Monday are Turkish Airlines, down 8%; Karsan Otomotiv (-8.9%), Zorlu Enerji (-8.4%), Dogan Sirketler Grubu (-8.3%)

As for the Lira, it continued sliding and at one point the session drop was a large as 8%.

But more importantly, overnight the risk of EM contagion stemming from the Turkish crash was also the topic of the latest note from Mark Cudmore – Bloomberg’s versatile FX and macro strategist – who just like us, believes that unless the TRY crash is stabilized, it could lead to a broader EM rout. As Cudmore notes, “International investors have been gobbling up Turkish debt this year. Those positions were beginning to look vulnerable as the lira led the broad emerging-market FX correction that started almost a month ago. Such investments became more vulnerable last week, when Turkish inflation data confirmed prices are spiraling out of control and real yields in the country are too low. The move toward the exit by bond holders may soon become a stampede.”

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