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EM-Turkish Lira Slips ahead of C.Bank Meet; Rouble Firms

Turkey’s lira eased on Thursday ahead of its central bank’s interest rate decision in the face of rising inflation, while investors await a key U.S. jobs report for clues on the pace of a global economic recovery and further monetary stimulus.

The lira shed 0.2%. The central bank is expected to hold rates steady at 19% and not hint about a rate cut until the third quarter as economists see higher inflationary pressures, ahead a Reuters poll showed.

“If the May inflation data indeed comes out lower than the April ‘peak’ of 17% expected by (the Turkish central bank)... we think the likelihood of monetary policy easing at the June meeting will be stronger,” said Berna Bayazitoglu, an analyst at Credit Suisse.

The lira has dropped nearly 19% since March this year when President Tayyip Erdogan replaced hawkish governor Naci Agbal with Sahap Kavcioglu, who shares Erdogan’s unorthodox view that high interest rates cause inflation.

MSCI’s index of emerging market currencies was subdued and stocks rose 0.3%, snapping a five-day losing streak as the Chinese yuan remained largely stable despite souring political relations and expectations of slowing export growth.

However, a recent rise in commodities such as oil and copper have helped support the currencies of most emerging markets like South Africa, Chile and Peru.

Russia’s rouble gained 0.2% buoyed by rising oil prices and data showing its service sector grew in April.

Emerging market currencies will find support from higher commodity prices and domestic vaccination rollouts this year, despite turbulence in U.S. Treasury yields that could diminish their appeal, a Reuters poll found.

Most Central European currencies such as the Hungarian forint, the Polish zloty and Czech crown gained nearly 0.2% against the euro.

The crown gained ahead of its central bank meet due later in the day where the monetary policy committee is likely to come to the unanimous decision to leave the key rate unchanged while investors would focus on the Czech central bank’s inflation projections.

“The bank seems to be more prepared to run the risk of acting slightly too late than hastily,” said Tatha Ghose, an analyst at Commerzbank.

“As a result, we remain cautious despite the positive economic surprise in Q1 and continue to expect a normalisation of key rates in the closing quarter of 2021.”

The dollar hovered near a two-week high on Thursday, consolidating ahead of a key U.S. jobs report that may provide clues on when the Federal Reserve will dial back monetary stimulus.

Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill

Source: Reuters

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