Markets fall as currency turmoil continues

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The fear factor continued to dominate among investors on Friday.

European shares fell and have recorded their first monthly loss since August.

A major worry is that European companies’ profits will be hit by the turmoil in emerging markets.

The flight from those countries resumed on Friday as the latest round of central bank actions failed to offset concern about rising economic and political risks.

Currencies, shares and bonds fell in developing nations, from Asia to Europe to Latin America.

Hungary is one of the countries seeing its currency slide and borrowing costs rise.

But at a gathering of European central bankers in Budapest Prime Minister Viktor Orban, insisted his country’s economy is strong and the currency problems come from global factors: “I am convinced that governments must stay away from public discussions of the exchange rate and refer that to the exclusive jurisdiction of central banks. The one thing we can and must do is to pursue a fiscal policy that is appropriate to lead to a stable currency.”

Orban’s comments were somewhat ironic given that has been criticised for trying to curb his central bank’s independence and its governor is a close associate – indeed his former economy minister.

The euronews correspondent who covered the central bankers meeting, Doloresz Katanich, said: “Emerging market currencies are falling more and more, particularly the Hugarian forint, but nobody was talking about it here. Hungary’s central bank Governor, and a top official from Russia’s central bank would say nothing on that, and the Deputy-Governor of the Turkish central bank cancelled the trip to this gathering in the last minute.

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