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Emerging Market Currencies Continue to Slide

Despite a late 2008 rally on the basis of improved risk tolerance, the prospects for emerging market currencies remain grim. The decline in commodity prices have deprived many such countries, namely Russia and Venezuela, of much-need export revenue. Moreover, the credit crisis and consequent abatement in inflation paved the way for massive interest rate cuts, which made investing in emerging market securities much less attractive. Current-account balances have turned from surplus to deficit in a matter of months, and governments have turned to foreign lenders to make up the difference. Unfortunately, confidence in such currencies is still quite low, forcing governments to issue debt denominated in USD, rather than local currency. Even despite this accommodation, investors remain hesitant. Bloomberg News reports:

Lower levels of foreign investment in these countries will
make it harder for policy makers to cut current-account deficits,
leaving their currencies “potential flashpoints” for losses.

Read More: Emerging Currencies to Drop, Morgan Stanley Says