Should emerging Asia be worried? | Opinion


Possibly, but more likely just more volaitlity

The last time we saw EM Asia assets and FX come under some serious selling pressure, was back in 2018. The cause back then? The Fed was on a tightening path after the global financial crisis and was expected to do quite a bit more. At the same time, the USD was appreciating, putting local Asian currencies under weakening pressure. 

Having just emerged from a miserable export slump in 2016/17, Asia was enjoying what looked like an export boom. Though it was a very narrow one based almost solely on electronics and it looked very vulnerable to a shift in demand or a loss of competitiveness. 

With local currencies under pressure, there was little central banks in Asia could do to boost their economies. Rate cuts were not a viable option as they would undermine currencies and allow inflation to pick up. Fiscal policy was operated under a different rule book pre-Covid, and having just emerged from…

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