Lira Rallies On Cut In Swaps, But Fails To Dent Dollar Demand

The Turkish lira is extending yesterday's recovery today on the back of actions by officials that are aimed at limiting foreign access to the lira to short. Without introducing new capital controls, regulators halved the amount of swap transactions banks can do to 25% of shareholder equity. This is meant to make it more difficult to access lira in the offshore swaps market, which is an important channel. The US dollar fell to TRY5.8830 before recovering toward TRY6.16. At the time of this writing, it is near TRY6.10, nearly four percent lower on the day after the 7.75% pullback yesterday.

If the lira's dramatic plunge hit other markets, its recovery appears to have gone largely unnoticed. Most other emerging market currencies are weaker, led by the South African rand (-0.6%), Polish zloty (-0.4%) and Russian ruble (-0.4%). That said, Indonesia hiked rates by 25 bp, making it a cumulative 125 bp increases since the end of Q1. Officials are thought to have intervened yesterday, and the currency strengthened slightly. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority intervened today to defend the lower end of its currency band and bought HKD2.158 bln. They had intervened (~HKD70 bln) in similar defensive posture by in early Q2 in almost 20 operations.

In terms of flows, we note two developments. First, an estimated $90.4 mln flowed into the MSCI iShare Turkey ETF yesterday, which appears to be the most in at least a year, and was the third consecutive session of inflows (totaling a modest $161 mln) or around 5.7% of assets. Second, despite (or maybe partly because of) steep losses in South African bonds and the rand recently, investors flocked to yesterday's debt auction. The ZAR2.4 bln of paper was oversubscribed by a factor of four, the most in nearly five months.  

The US dollar remains firm against the major currencies. The euro made new lows for the move near $1.1315. The next target is the 61.8% retracement objective of last year's rally that is found a little below $1.1190. The measuring objective of head and shoulder pattern on the weekly bar charts is near $1.05. It finished yesterday outside its Bollinger Band for the third consecutive session. The lower band is near $1.1345 today. 

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Read more by Marc on his site Marc to Market.

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