Lindsey Group's Boockvar: Emerging Market Rate Hikes 'Freaking People Out'

Wednesday, 29 Jan 2014 11:22 AM

By Dan Weil

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Interest-rate hikes in key emerging-market economies haven't been able to stanch the declines in currencies there.

Turkey and India raised rates Tuesday to protect their currencies, and South Africa moved Wednesday. The currencies stabilized Tuesday but fell anew Wednesday.

"I think that on the flip side of the rate hikes, where people thought this would stabilize things, the extent of the hikes are now freaking people out," Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at the Lindsey Group, told CNBC.

Editor’s Note: These 38 Dates Are Key to Bagging $313,038

"The Turkish lira is getting slammed now, and the South African rand is getting slammed now."
The dollar traded at 2.2603 lira Wednesday morning, up 0.0075 from Tuesday.

Turkey raised its overnight lending rate to 12 percent from 7.75 percent and its one-week rate to 10 percent from 4.5 percent.

"These big currency defenses either work quickly because there are these big short positions you can squeeze, or they fail slowly," Robert Sinche, head of currency strategy at Pierpont Securities, told CNBC.

"They may be able to keep rates at 10 percent or 12 percent for a while, but with inflation at about 5 percent, eventually this will wear down on the economy."

Investors first shied away from emerging markets last spring and summer when the Federal Reserve began indicating it would taper quantitative easing. And now the rout is on.

"It doesn't look like investors care if local rates are going up," Adam Myers, senior currency strategist at Crédit Agricole, told The Wall Street Journal. "They just want to get out of emerging markets."

Editor’s Note: These 38 Dates Are Key to Bagging $313,038

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