Morgan Stanley Says It’s Time to Buy Emerging-Market Currencies

The U.S. dollar is probably in a bear market, meaning emerging-market currencies are in for a good ride this year despite a weaker outlook for global growth, according to Morgan Stanley.

“We are bullish,” a team of analysts led by James Lord, the firm’s London-based head of fixed-income strategy, wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday. “Emerging-market currencies have lagged, but with a growing conviction that the dollar has turned, we think that catch-up is under way."

The call comes as an index of developing-market currencies flirts with the highest level since April, even as geopolitical tensions simmer in the build-up to this week’s G-20 meeting. The world’s biggest central banks are switching to a more accommodative stance, fueling demand for riskier assets.

With the Federal Reserve now “emphasizing the weakness in global growth,” a more dovish policy approach could help mitigate “the tail risks around G-20 outcomes,” the analyst wrote.
Morgan Stanley’s favorite currency in Europe, the Middle East and Africa is the Russian ruble -- the best performing developing-market currency so far this year. The bank also added a long position in a basket of Latin American currencies and is betting on further gains for the Indian rupee.
On Tuesday, the Turkish lira, one of the hardest-hit currencies in the emerging world this year led a rally against the greenback, climbing as much as 0.7%. The South African rand followed suit and was trading at 0.5% stronger as of 1:32 p.m. in London.