Emerging Market Debt Indicator September 2023

In the latest edition, the EM Debt team provides an update across the investment universe and shares the latest outlook and current top-down positioning.

Oct 13, 2023

14 minutes

EMD Team

Chapters

01
Market background
02
Top-down views and outlook
03
Africa
04
Asia
05
Latin America
06
Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)
07
Rest of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA)
08
EM corporate highlights
01

Market background

Close-up of dark green leaves
It was a challenging month for financial markets, with EM fixed income no exception. The risk-off tone was fuelled largely by market participants pricing in a ‘higher for longer’ interest rate outlook in the US, which drove a sharp rise in US Treasury yields.

September proved to be a challenging month for financial markets, with EM fixed income no exception. The risk-off tone was fuelled largely by market participants pricing in a ‘higher for longer’ interest rate outlook in the US. The drivers behind this revision in expectations included somewhat more persistent inflation and surprisingly resilient economic data. Furthermore, although the US Federal Reserve kept interest rates on hold at its September meeting, it increased its ‘dot plot’ forecasts for interest rates next year by 50 basis points (bps). This drove a sharp rise in US Treasury yields, with the 10-year closing the month at 4.57% (46bps higher than the end of August), causing a sell-off in bond markets.

The bond market sell-off extended beyond the US, as sovereign rates in Europe also rose, notably in Germany, France and Italy. The European Central Bank (ECB) raised its key interest rate to a record high of 4%, although it signalled that the hike was likely to be its last. The ECB also indicated that it expects inflation to reach its 2% target over the next two years – which is slower than expected – with economic growth likely to slow further.

A further headwind to financial markets came in the form of the continued rise in the oil price, which also fed fresh inflation concerns across emerging and developed markets.

Turning to EMs, inflation across Asia generally printed higher than expected, although this was mainly driven by volatile items such as food and fuel rather than a reflection of core inflation dynamics. Economic data releases in China were more encouraging overall and the People’s Bank of China cut the reserve requirement ratio by 25bps. In Latin America, the central bank in Brazil cut its policy rate by 50bps, in line with the market’s expectations, and Chile’s central bank also continued with its rate cutting cycle, this time cutting by 75bps. In contrast, Mexico’s central bank continued to be on the hawkish side, with the governor saying that rate cuts are not yet on the table.

Authored by

EMD Team

Important Information

This communication is provided for general information only should not be construed as advice.

All the information in is believed to be reliable but may be inaccurate or incomplete. The views are those of the contributor at the time of publication and do not necessary reflect those of Ninety One.

Any opinions stated are honestly held but are not guaranteed and should not be relied upon.

All rights reserved. Issued by Ninety One.