Cashin: Could selloff cause Fed to slow taper?
The ongoing selloff on Wall Street, spurred by fears over unstable emerging market currencies, has left traders wondering whether the steep declines could throw the Fed a curveball, UBS' Art Cashin said Friday.
"There's a little bit of a hint that people are wondering if this chaotic movement in emerging markets continues, the Fed may back off a little bit on the tapering," Cashin said on "Squawk on the Street." "Now, there's precedent for that."
While Thursday's steep stock market declines stemmed from worries over Chinese growth and credit, it was currency troubles in Argentina and Turkey that roiled markets on Friday, Cashin said.
(Read more: Cramer: How to deal with Wall Street selloff)
Cashin said former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker cut interest rates in the early 1980s to allay market worries over whether the Mexican peso would collapse. After that, the market "took off and never looked back," Cashin said.
(Read more: Traders pondering if this US selloff is the big one)
The Fed began scaling down its massive stimulus program in January, planning to reduce its $85 billion-a-month bond purchasing by $10 billion because of an expected economic recovery in the U.S. and abroad.
"There should be a lot of discussion and thinking as they get there," Cashin said of Fed officials. "We'll wait and see. They may continue. The other thing to remember is that while tapering has an impact here, we have seen even the talk of tapering affecting the emerging markets. So they're very susceptible to this."
—By CNBC's Jeff Morganteen. Follow him on Twitter at @jmorganteen and get the latest stories from "Squawk on the Street."