May 31, 2013
South Africa’s rand punched through the psychological barrier of 10 to the dollar as investors flee countries with big current account deficits, deemed most at risk. The country’s central bank said it would take action to stem the fall in the rand if moves became “abrupt and disorderly”.
The Johannesburg Stock Exchange says foreigners have withdrawn €1.1bn (£940m) from South African bonds over the past 10 days. The Turkish lira fell to the lowest in 17 months against the dollar, though it has just been upgraded to “investment” quality by Moody’s. The Thai baht fell to a one-year low, a pattern seen in much of emerging Asia.
Bond yields have spiked sharply in Turkey, South Africa, Mexico and Hungary, rippling through down corporate spreads. Yields on 10-year Polish bonds have jumped 60 basis points to 3.60pc in May as even the strongest are drawn into the turmoil. “This is the end of the bull market,” said Benoit Anne from Societe Generale. “I am now throwing in the towel. We are out of virtually all our emerging market bonds.”