Brazilian stocks showed slight signs of recovery at their open on Friday, after a new wave of political turmoil saw major indices post their worst day since the start of the 2008 global financial crisis.
The Brazilian benchmark was 1.7 percent higher, recovering from a previous session where stocks dropped amid allegations that President Michel Temer agreed to pay hush money to a witness in the country's biggest-ever corruption probe.
Meanwhile, the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM), which features a 7.65 percent exposure to Brazil, was up by 1.7 percent Friday after closing the previous day down 1.66 percent.
The uptick will provide slight relief to investors, who continue to battle against a tide of volatility within the embattled economy.
However, turmoil is par for the course in emerging markets.
The Brazil index, which also logged its worst day since October 2008, fell 10 percent in Thursday trading and has suffered a tumultuous journey before now. Nevertheless, the Brazilian stock exchange has been on a largely upwards trajectory since early 2016 and is up almost 20 percent over the past decade.
So, just how concerned should investors be by the latest development to shake the Latin American powerhouse?
Though regional markets cannot be compared on a like-for-like basis, it is worth looking at the impact of recent political upheaval in other emerging economies, which may give some indication of the direction of travel for markets.
In South Africa, a fellow BRICS economy, for example, stocks suffered a sudden sell-off after President Jacob Zuma abruptly dismissed his finance minister Pravin Gordhan in late March. However, after enjoying a fairly speedy recovery, the impact has since been muted.
"The initial market reaction may be more violent than the eventual range," UBS said in a research note released Thursday.
However, it added that the news "has the potential to be a
As such, the Swiss bank has removed its overweight recommendation on Brazilian equities, citing "material downside risk."
The shifts come after research from Bloomberg revealed that U.S. hedge funds reduced equity holdings tied to Brazil by about $800 million in the first quarter of this year. This followed a 69 percent surge in the country's benchmark stock index last year.
Of the ten U.S. hedge funds who held a combined almost $2 billion in Brazilian assets and ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds), as of March 2017, the largest allocations were in publicly quoted bank Itau Unibanco, state-run energy company Petroleo Brasil and iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF, according to Bloomberg data.
However, Ross Teverson, head of emerging market strategy, said that the recent
"Questionable governance has held Brazil back for a number of years and, while the ongoing corruption investigations create short-term uncertainty, there is a much greater longer-term payoff for Brazil if the new reality is that politicians and companies can no longer break the law with impunity,"
Going forward, UBS said it recommends sticking to "
President Temer has forcefully denied allegations that he approved an illicit payment to a former coalition ally, Eduardo Cunha, to cover up a corruption scandal and has vowed that he will not resign from his two-year-old government.
The president, who was appointed to replace impeached former president Dilma Rousseff, was once seen as a symbol of economic confidence for Brazil but is now seen as one of the most unpopular presidents in the country's history.
He will now face a criminal inquiry by the Supreme Court over the corruption allegations.
If found innocent,
If found guilty, he too will face impeachment and will be removed from office. In this instance, head of
UBS said the latter would likely spur an economic scenario akin to late
Already, an 'occupy' protest is scheduled to take place in Brasilia on 24 May against the government's reform plans.
Brazil's central bank said following Thursday's reports that it will "monitor the impact of the information" and "act to maintain the full functionality of markets."
J.P. Morgan Asset Management's senior client portfolio manager in Emerging Markets suggested that this could include
"This will be perceived as a key thermometer of market stress," Zsolt Papp told CNBC via email.
"The National Treasury can also join the effort to calm markets and buy back bonds (as was done in 2015)," she added.
"While these moves may be supportive in the very near term, if the political environment remains unsettled for longer (and no signal of eventual improvement in fiscal accounts) we may see