* Belarus dollar denominated bonds fall 1.7 cents
* Risk of contagion from Belarus in Russian assets – analyst
* S.African rand up on sweeping removal of lockdown restrictions
* Turkish lira down as novel coronavirus cases rise
* July inflation data awaited in Poland
By Susan Mathew
Aug 17 (Reuters) – Belarus dollar denominated bonds fell yet again on Monday amid political uncertainty, while Turkey’s troubled lira plumbed new lows with all eyes on a central bank meeting later in the week.
Bonds in Belarus fell as much 1.7 cents. The country’s leader Alexander Lukashenko rejected calls to hold a new presidential election amid allegations of vote-rigging, while opposition politician Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya said she stood ready to lead Belarus as protesters packed the capital city of Minsk.
Russia said it would offer Lukashenko military help if necessary. Despite rising oil prices, crude exporter Russia’s rouble was flat against both the dollar and the euro .
“The outlook for the current situation in Belarus remains highly volatile, however, we see the risks of contagion for Russian assets in terms of higher risk premium as likely to be limited in the near-term,” Christian Wietoska, strategist at Deutsche Bank.
Poland, which shares its borders with Belarus, said it was monitoring the situation. The zloty rose 0.13% against a stronger euro ahead of July inflation data due later in the day. The figure it expected to have risen slightly from June, sailing steadily north of the central bank’s 2.5% target.
In Turkey, the lira weakened for a fourth session running amid the country’s COVID-19 count rising on Saturday to its highest daily level since June, and a fresh rebuke from the European Union for its drilling plans in disputed Mediterranean waters.
Credit Suisse analysts expect Turkey’s central bank to hold the key interest rate steady at 8.25% on Thursday, citing the fact that the bank has been tightening lira liquidity by not opening one-week repo auctions since earlier this month.
Global sentiment, meanwhile, attempted to be upbeat as the postponement of U.S.-China talks left their Phase one trade deal intact. Investors will also be watching for minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s July meeting on Wednesday for any clues about an anticipated shift in the policy outlook.
MSCI’s index of emerging market currencies was steady, while its stocks’ counterpart, which marked its fourth straight week in the black on Friday, climbed 0.5% with help from China stocks.
South Africa’s rand gained for a fifth session running after President Cyril Ramaphosa said all indications were that the country had reached the peak of COVID-19 infections and ended the ban on alcohol, tobacco and travel between provinces along with allowing restaurants to return to normal business.
For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance 2020, see tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance 2020, see tmsnrt.rs/2OusNdX
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For RUSSIAN market report, see (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Karin Strohecker in London; editing by Uttaresh.V)
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