Aug 13, 2018, by Lorcan Roche Kelly
Pressure remains on the Turkish lira after Friday’s rout, with the currency briefly trading at more than 7 to the dollar in the Asia session. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan remained defiant in speeches yesterday, saying the country is now in an “economic war.” As with all putative wars, controlling the message is proving key, with authorities in Ankara warning that criticism may be viewed as “economic attacks” on the country. The lira was trading at 6.8870 by 5:50 a.m. Eastern Time.
The crisis in Turkey is moving asset prices across emerging markets. South Africa’s rand saw its biggest plunge in about a decade during Asian trading hours before paring some of those losses. The MSCI Emerging Markets Currency Index fell to the lowest in over a year. The euro has also been under pressure, hitting the lowest level against the dollar in more than 13 months, while Italian bonds have slumped.
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is working to be part of any investor pool that emerges to take Tesla Inc. private, according to people with knowledge of the fund’s plans. Another touted source of the financing, SoftBank Group Corp., isn’t planning on participating in any deal, according to people with knowledge of the matter. For Tesla’s Elon Musk, the original tweet about the issue, which implied that funding had been secured to take the company private at $420 per share, may land him in court as investors sue for price manipulation.
Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index sank 1.7 percent while Japan’s Topix index ended the session 2.1 percent lower as the yen strengthened amid haven demand. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.5 percent lower at 5:50 a.m. as the region’s banks with exposure to Turkey took another hit and shares in Bayer AG plunged 10 percent after a California court ruling against its Roundup weed killer. S&P 500 futures pointed to a drop at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.864 percent and gold fell.
It’s a very quiet week on the data front, with retail sales on Wednesday being one of the few major U.S. economic releases. Today does see the Treasury sell $96 billion of three-month and six-month bills as supply, particularly at the short end, continues to swell.