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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Investors had been returning to emerging market assets in the second quarter and earlier in the third this year, but new data from the Institute of International Finance show a strong reversal that rivals the outflows seen after the 2013 taper tantrum and the 2015 Chinese currency devaluation scare.

Driving the news: JPMorgan strategists said they sold out of some EM assets ahead of expected uncertainty caused by the U.S. presidential election, adding that the president's coronavirus diagnosis could pull forward volatility.

The recovery: IIF estimates EM securities attracted around $2.1 billion in September, up from $0.7 billion in August.

  • EMTA, the Emerging Markets Trading Association, reported earlier this week that EM debt trading volume in Q2 stood at $1.31 trillion, an 8% increase from the same period in 2019, while down 12% from $1.49 trillion reported in the first quarter of 2020.
  • Local currency debt, which is considered riskier, also saw an increase from 2019 figures, rising 16% in the second quarter from the same period in 2019.

The relapse: IIF economists have seen a "fresh bout of market turmoil," arising in trading activity in recent weeks due to uncertainty about the U.S. election, a rejuvenated dollar and lingering questions about COVID-19.

  • The data found high-frequency outflows from EM in the final weeks of September that rivaled the taper tantrum and devaluation scare, two of the biggest negative events in modern history for EM, and some countries are seeing selling pressure continue to build.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Oct 30, 2020 - Economy & Business

The pandemic isn't slowing tech

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Thursday's deluge of Big Tech earnings reports showed one thing pretty clearly: COVID-19 may be bad in all sorts of ways, but it's not slowing down the largest tech companies. If anything, it's helping some companies, like Amazon and Apple.

Yes, but: With the pandemic once again worsening in the U.S. and Europe, it's not clear how long the tech industry's winning streak can last.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
1 hour ago - Technology

The smart city comes of age

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Better sensors, more intelligent AI, and the coming wave of 5G wireless could finally fulfill the promise of the smart city.

Why it matters: How we organize, run and power our cities will be increasingly important in the years ahead, as urbanization expands and the damaging effects of climate change compound.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
10 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.