The turmoil in emerging market economies is having a negative impact on currencies as well as on stock markets. Peter O'Flanagan, head of trading with Clear Currency in London, said he saw the turmoil as a continuing trend this year as the UK, the US and the euro zone economies continue to recover.
"We'll see a continuation of the gradual rotation out of emerging market currencies into western nations as they show signs of growth and stabilisation," he said. "The reduction in quantitative easing in the US has had a big effect on capital flows to emerging markets and that will continue," he added.
Mr O'Flanagan said there was a possibility that the US Fed could decide to ease off on tapering this month but that the stimulus would continue to be wound down throughout the course of the year. "This is Janet Yellen's first month as head of the Federal Reserve. She's a fan of lowering unemployment before she raises interest rates. That won't have an effect on tapering," he said.
He also cautioned importers and exporters to protect themselves from currency fluctuations in the emerging markets. "Importers will get more bang for their buck if trading in euro. If exporters get paid in emerging market currencies, they're advised to hedge prudently because deprecations could have an impact on the bottom line," Mr O'Flanagan warned.
MORNING BRIEFS - Food group Greencore recorded group revenue of over £320m in the 13 weeks to the end of December. That was an increase of over 7% on the previous year. The group issued an interim management statement in advance of its AGM today, in which it said the year got off to a good start and it is on track to deliver in line with expectations.
*** Apple shares shed nearly 10% of their value in after hours trading after it reported flat profits for the October to January period. The stock finished at just above $500. Apple said it shifted a record 51 million iPhones and 26 million iPads, but that was below analyst expectations. The company has lowered its sales outlook for 2014. The company's profit came in at just over $13 billion with revenue up 6% to $57.6 billion.
***More than a billion smartphones were shipped in 2013 - a 38% increase on the previous year - according to the market research firm, IDC. Samsung extended its lead as the world's biggest vendor accounting for nearly a third of sales followed by Apple which accounted for just over 15% of shipments. Cost continues to be the main driver of sales, particularly in the Asian market which is a key driver for growth.
*** UK economic growth figures for the fourth quarter are due out today. The UK's GDP is expected to have risen to 2% from a year earlier which will put the British economy on a firm footing to meet the predicted 2.4% growth that the IMF has pencilled in for 2014. That is quite a turnaround from last year when preliminary figures indicated that the economy was on course for a double dip recession.