Money and Markets

Look: The moment the rand, and 5 other emerging-market currencies, followed the Turkish lira into meltdown

Business Insider SA
The Rand took a substantial plunge as financial turmoil in Turkey weakened emerging market currencies. (Chart: Markets Insider)
  • Financial tumult in Turkey hit the rand, for more than 10% of its value at one point.
  • But SA wasn't alone; markets such as China, Russia, and India  also felt the effects.
  • One economist says its premature to say just how bad things could get.

The South African rand weakened by more than 10% against the US Dollar in the early hours of Monday morning as concerns over Turkey's diplomatic spat with the US, and capital flight risk, sparked turmoil in markets.

See also: 'Clear risks of contagion': European markets drop as Turkey's lira crisis spreads around the world

As Asian foreign currency markets opened on Monday, the Turkish lira continued to plunge to all-time lows, negatively affecting the rand, which followed suit and fell to a low of R15.70 from opening at R14.06 — making it the deepest rand plunge against the dollar in two years.

Similar meltdowns were recorded in other emerging markets.

Here are five other emerging market currencies also affected by the on-going Turkish Lira meltdown:

1. Mexico's Peso

The Mexican Peso depreciates against the US Dollar roundabout the same time as the USD/ZAR plunge. (Chart: Markets Insider)

Traders backed away from the Mexican Peso as fears mount over emerging markets. The Mexican Peso weakened to a low of  Mex$19.32, or about R14.44, to the US dollar.

2. Russia's Ruble

The Russian Ruble depreciating roundabout the same time as the other emerging market currencies. (Markets Insider)

The Russians were not spared from the sell-off in emerging market assets. The ruble slumped to a near two-and-a-half year low, also as a result of last week's surprise sanctions by the US.

3. Brazil's Real

The Brazilian Real dipped by more than 100 basis points to 3.90 to the dollar before the opening of South American markets. (Chart: Markets Insider)

Although the Brazilian markets are yet to open, massive sell-offs in the currency have been taking place prior to the start of trade in South America.

4. India's Rupee

The Indian Rupee also depreciates against the US Dollar, roundabout the same time as the other emerging market currencies. (Chart: Markets Insider)

Although Asian countries do not have a meaningful exposure to the Turkish lira collapse, the Indian rupee also took a knock that saw it hitting an all-time low of 69.92 (about R14.49) against the dollar.

5. China's Yuan

The Chinese Yuan also took a knock in its value, alongside other emerging market currencies. (Chart: Markets Insider)

The mighty Yuan also fell against the US dollar. The Chinese currency slumped 51 basis points to ¥6.87 to the dollar (about R14.48). 

It is premature to say just how long and how much the lira crisis will impact markets, Kim Doo-un, a Seoul-based economist at KB Securities told Reuters – especially markets with a thorny relationship with the Trump administration.

But volatility for the rest of the week is a pretty sure bet.

More on the Turkish meltdown and its impact:

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