FLASH: Emerging Markets Reeling from Investor Flight to Safety

Sao_Paulo_Stock_Exchange, cc Flickr Rafael Matsunaga, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Emerging markets are experiencing a wave of capital flight as the United States and Europe normalize their monetary policies, ease stimulus, and allow interest rates to increase, producing safer returns for global investors. The trend is pushing down the value of currencies throughout the developing world, creating new economic risks – particularly in countries with high levels of short-term USD-denominated debt.

The flight to safety has been slowly unfolding through the half of 2018 as the yield for 10-year US Treasuries ticked toward 3%. It has accelerated of late with higher-than-expected interest rate forecasts in the United States and in some cases a worsening economic outlook in certain emerging markets as capital flight cascades into dwindling foreign reserves, higher borrowing costs, and growth-dampening interest rate hikes.

Here are a few emerging markets to keep an eye on:

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