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June 7 (Reuters) – Emerging market currencies slipped on Friday, torn between trade war woes and hopes of more easing from central banks.
The dip was led by the Turkish lira, which dropped on new strains in Ankara’s fragile diplomatic ties with Washington.
Developing world stocks were mixed with Indian shares swinging between losses and gains, while those in South Korea, Russia, Turkey and South Africa rose. Chinese markets were closed for a local holiday.
China’s central bank governor said the central bank could deploy other monetary policies to support the economy should the trade dispute escalate further. He spoke after dovish remarks by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
“All the supportive comments from central banks allow markets to regain composure,” said Piotr Matys, emerging market FX strategist at Rabobank.
“But, we are sceptical that sentiment toward emerging markets will improve in a sustainable way over the mid term horizon,” given that risks from trade tensions may escalate even further, he said.
Opening after a three-day holiday, the lira weakened 1.5% against a steady dollar, after ending a 10-session winning streak on Thursday, as locals sought to cash in.
Confidence among locals on the lira is still very low, as the risk prevails that the (Washington-Ankara) diplomatic row could worsen and lead to sanctions on Turkey, Matys said.
Strained relations with the United States was one of the factors that pushed the lira into crisis last year when it lost nearly 30% of its value against the dollar. It has lost close to 10% so far this year.
South Africa’s rand slumped to its lowest in nearly nine months, down 0.8%.
The ruling African National Congress said on Thursday its policy on the role and independence of the central bank had not changed, despite deep divides within the party.
One faction sought to expand the bank’s role to include employment and economic growth, while another sought to maintain inflation as the focus.
“The rand is seeing continued weakness on the political divide, which follows on from the poor domestic GDP data catalyst earlier on in the week,” said Shaun Murison senior market analyst at IG.
The rand was on course to log losses of about 3.5% on the week, its worst performance in eight months.
Mexico’s peso dropped 0.3%, taking no comfort from a second day of talks between Mexico and the United States on trade and immigration talks, with 5% tariffs on all Mexican exports to the U.S. set to kick in on Monday.