Complaining about the effect of Japan’s monetary easing on the value of the yen is virtually de rigeur among the country’s trading partners. But Chart of the week shows that the most vocal critics of Japan are not necessarily those with the most to shout about. Continue reading »
Concerns over possible intervention by the South Korean authorities are growing as the Korean won neared it’s strongest level to the dollar in two-months.
The won ended onshore trading at 1,091.4 per dollar on Tuesday, the strongest since March 8, marking its third consecutive day of gains. Although there were no signs of any major action by local financial authorities, traders are becoming more cautious as the stronger won raises the prospect of intervention. Continue reading »
The Chinese renminbi marched to a record high against the US dollar on Thursday, adding to a recent burst of appreciation and spurring talk that Beijing is poised to soon let the currency trade more freely, reports Simon Rabinovitch.
Over the past three weeks the renminbi has gained 0.6 per cent against the dollar, an unusually fast rise for the tightly controlled Chinese currency and one that has come even as the dollar has been relatively strong. Continue reading »
African currencies are at risk of depreciation at a time of unprecedented investor interest. Razia Khan, head of Africa research at Standard Chartered Bank, discusses the South African rand and Ghanaian cedi with the FT’s Africa editor, William Wallis, and considers whether this recent development is a country-specific issue or reflects a broader trend across the continent.
The Thai baht hit a 16-year record on Tuesday, appreciating another 0.8 per cent and falling below 29 to the dollar for the first time since the Asian financial crisis of 1997.
The baht touched 28.93 to the dollar at one point, before weakening to just over 29. It’s a worry for policy makers, who have seen the baht appreciate by over 5 per cent already this year alone, but who don’t seem to have a lot of options. Continue reading »
Get ready to rumble. Colombia is stepping up the fight against the appreciation of its currency, the peso.
Having spent nearly $5bn last year buying dollars to stem the peso’s rise, the government this week said it was willing to deploy double the amount – or $10bn – this year keep the currency in check. Continue reading »
The Hungarian forint plunged through the 300 per euro barrier on Monday as investors digested unexpectedly speedy moves by György Matolcsy, prime minister Viktor Orbán’s new man at the central bank, to impose his “non-traditional” brand of monetary policy.
Adding to the gloom was a warning that Orbán’s latest round of constitutional amendments, due to be voted on in parliament on Monday, may contravene European Union law. Continue reading »
Central banks are rarely the kinds of places that get pulses racing but the rate setting committee at the National Bank of Poland has long been fairly unorthodox in its communication policy, which is why analysts were floored by a surprising decision to cut the benchmark rate by half a point Wednesday to a record low of 3.25 per cent. Continue reading »
Following losses on Wall Street, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index fell 1.2 per cent on Tuesday. Closer to Rome, the impact was bigger, with the MSCI East Europe index down 1.9 per cent in early trading. Watch out for a nervous day. Continue reading »
What’s up with the Mexican peso? So far this month, the currency has weakened a little, and on Friday it was trading at 12.67 to the US dollar compared with 12.61 at the start of the month. Could it be that the rally since last year is petering out?
As expected, the Bank of Korea left its policy interest rate unchanged at 2.75 per cent a year on Thursday, citing the country’s gradual economic recovery, even though South Korean exporters are battling strong headwinds from the weaker Japanese yen.
There had been expectations that the central bank might cut rates to boost economic growth and help curb the won’s appreciation against the dollar and the yen. But Kim Choong-soo, BoK governor, said interest rates were already accommodative and, in any event, there was no clear relationship between interest rates and exchange rates in Korea. Continue reading »
After more than three years of fully open access, we are taking the step of asking our readers to register on FT.com to read our articles. Beyondbrics will still be free but we'd like to know a bit more about you, our readers. Other FT blogs (including Alphaville) already do the same thing. Registration is active on beyondbrics from May 6.
Many of you are already registered on FT.com, or are subscribers - in which case, if you are logged in to the site you will not notice any difference. Just carry on as before.
For those of you not yet registered, it's a simple process which only takes a few moments.
Reading beyondbrics articles will NOT deduct from your free monthly quota of stories on FT.com.