WASHINGTON Jan 29 The emerging market countries
taking tough action on reforms and managing their economies well
are having an easier ride in the current market selloff, U.S.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Wednesday.
"I will say that we're seeing a lot of differentiation in
the marketplace and we're seeing that countries that have taken
tough actions and managed well are having a different
experience," Lew told reporters traveling with President Barack
Obama aboard Air Force One.
Emerging markets have been pummeled since last week due to a
volatile combination of political troubles in several countries
and the prospect of the U.S. Federal Reserve easing back on its
monetary stimulus during the year.
Turkey and South Africa aggressively raised interest rates
on Wednesday to stop capital flight while other countries,
including Malaysia and Mexico, are taking more of a wait-and-see
Lew brushed off a question about whether he had been in
touch with Group of Seven counterparts, saying he spoke to them
"all the time, both when we're at meetings and when we're not,"
adding that he did not want to comment on day-to-day market
An official from the Group of 20 leading and emerging
nations said the group was "closely watching the situation," and
would discuss emerging market volatility at a meeting of finance
ministers and central bank governors in Sydney next month.
"There is turbulence, but emerging market economies'
fundamentals are much stronger than they were in the late '90s,"
he said, speaking on the condition he not be named.
"As the (Jose Viñals, head of the IMF's monetary and capital
markets department) said (on Tuesday), this turbulence largely
reflects 'a combination of idiosyncratic factors,'" the official