Emerging markets currencies are one of this year’s more embattled classes. The WisdomTree Emerging Currency Fund (NYSEArca: CEW) confirms as much.
CEW’s constituent currencies include the following: The Mexican Peso, Brazilian Real, Chilean Peso, Colombian Peso, South African Rand, Polish Zloty, Russian Ruble, Turkish New Lira, Chinese Yuan, South Korean Won, Indonesian Rupiah, Indian Rupee, Malaysian Ringgit, Philippine Peso and Thai Baht.
The ETF is down 5.1% year-to-date while the PowerShares DB Dollar Bullish (NYSEArca: UUP) is slightly higher. The rupee and rupiah have been real problems. Those plunging currencies have exacerbated current account deficits in India and Indonesia. India, Asia’s third-largest economy, and Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy, have widening account deficits. [EM Currencies Could Face More Pain]
The Thai baht and Philippine peso have endured their fair share of problems as markets have questioned the ability of emerging currencies to withstand the loss of Federal Reserve stimulus. Tapering was believed to be put on the back burner until the end of the first quarter of 2014, which has helped CEW be a little less bad over the past three months (the ETF is down about 1%). [Rising Rates Plaguing EM Currencies]
Still, it is all about tapering for emerging markets currencies.
“We think general market price action across asset classes will move between three key themes: Great Flotation – QE tapering delayed – EM FX positive, Great Slowtation – QE tapering starts but before macro data warrants its – EM FX Negative, Great Rotation – QE tapering starts but after data has improved substantially – EM reasonably supported but with diverging fortunes on a currency by currency basis,” according to a Rabobank note posted on FX Street.