By Bruno Federowski
SAO PAULO, Feb 22 Yields on Brazilian interest
rate futures were nearly unchanged on Wednesday as traders bet
the central bank would maintain its pace of rate cuts later in
According to Reuters calculations, rate future yields
indicated an 85 percent probability of a 75 basis-point cut to
the benchmark Selic overnight lending rate, to 12.25 percent.
Some investors had speculated the bank could increase the
pace of loosening to a brisk 100 basis points after several
months of slower-than-expected inflation.
But a report on Tuesday showed the annual inflation rate
eased less than expected in mid-February, moderating those
Still, traders said the odds of a steeper cut at the central
bank's April meeting have been growing as Brazil's economic
recovery struggles to take hold.
Traders also avoided making big bets ahead of the release of
the Federal Reserve's policy minutes, which could yield fresh
hints over the path of U.S. rate hikes.
The Brazilian real strengthened 0.3 percent, while
the Chilean peso traded nearly flat.
Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index slipped 0.6
percent as traders digested a heavy batch of corporate updates.
Shares in steelmaker Gerdau SA ranked among the
biggest losers after it reported a wider fourth-quarter net
Lower iron ore futures also weighed on demand for the stock,
as well as on shares of miner Vale SA.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1550 GMT:
Stock indexes daily % YTD %
Latest change change
MSCI Emerging Markets 950.88 0.55 9.67
MSCI LatAm 2679.14 0.56 13.83
Brazil Bovespa 68524.09 -0.76 13.78
Mexico IPC 47353.92 -0.55 3.75
Chile IPSA 4375.73 0.05 5.40
Chile IGPA 21872.80 0.05 5.49
Argentina MerVal 19877.02 -0.97 17.49
Colombia IGBC 9914.42 -0.53 -2.11
Venezuela IBC 35127.14 0.12 10.79
Currencies daily % YTD %
Brazil real 3.0794 0.34 5.51
Mexico peso 19.8765 0.70 4.36
Chile peso 641.7 -0.09 4.52
Colombia peso 2888.8 0.27 3.90
Peru sol 3.242 0.12 5.31
Argentina peso (interbank) 15.4700 0.84 2.62
Argentina peso (parallel) 16.23 1.17 3.64
(Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)