Jagshemesh! Kazakhstan joins the currency war. US stocks to open lower
01:00, August 20 2015
· By Giorgio Benetti
Deepening emerging market fallout from another slump in Chinese share prices and the de-pegging of Kazakhstan’s tenge has prompted a lower open for UK and European stocks on Thursday.
The Kazakhstani tenge dropped over 20% when the government and central bank decided to let it free float in order to compete with the declining currencies of its two biggest trading partners; Russia and China. The move by Kazakhstan follows a devaluation of the Vietnamese dong on Wednesday and is spreading weakness across emerging market currencies, with the South African Rand now worth 13 dollars, a 14-year low.
Markets priced in a short term resolution to Greece’s debt problems in the first few days after the deal was announced. It wasn’t a given that Greece would make its payment to the ECB today but doing so wasn’t enough to offset emerging market concerns.
US stocks look set for a lower open despite signs from the latest minutes that the Federal Reserve will not be ready to hike rates in September. What the Fed is doing at the moment is almost the worst of both worlds for markets; it’s saying it wants to tighten monetary policy but the economy is not strong enough. The markets currently have neither the prospect of sustained loose monetary policy nor economic strength to fall back on.
The FTSE 100 fell alongside other global stock markets on Thursday but saw some respite in morning trading after retail sales for July, when stripped of gasoline sales met consensus expectations. A bounce in metal prices spurred a similar move in the mining sector but two third of shares were lower amidst bearish sentiment.
Futures suggest the:
S&P 500 will open 15 points lower at 2,064 with the
Dow Jones expected to open 121 points lower at 17,227 and the
Nasdaq 100 29 points lower at 4,481.
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