(Updates after market close)
By Bruno Federowski
SAO PAULO, May 22 Brazilian markets extended
their losses on Monday on fears the country's mushrooming
political crisis will derail efforts to pull Latin America's
biggest economy out of its worst-ever recession.
Currencies and stock indexes across Latin America showed
volatile trading amid risk aversion in the region, though
Mexico's peso firmed 0.27 percent thanks to higher oil prices.
Brazil's real closed 0.59 percent weaker against the dollar,
paring even steeper losses earlier, after Brazilian President
Michel Temer said he would not heed growing calls for his
resignation in a corruption scandal.
The scandal has threatened to tear apart Temer's coalition
in Congress and leave the country's economy adrift, less than a
year after the unpopular conservative was sworn in to replace
his impeached leftist predecessor Dilma Rousseff.
Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index fell 1.54
percent, dragged down by heightened uncertainty and by a 31.34
percent drop in the shares of JBS SA, the world's
Lawmakers considered on Monday opening a probe into trades
by JBS' controlling shareholder. The trades may have insulated
some holdings from losses related to bribery allegations.
JBS and J&F Investimentos, a sprawling conglomerate led by
brothers Joesley and Wesley Batista, have admitted to paying
millions in bribes in explosive plea-bargain testimony that has
sparked calls for Temer's resignation.
MSCI's emerging market benchmark rose 0.88 percent
in its steepest daily gain in a month, despite the volatility.
Demand for emerging market currencies has flagged in recent
weeks amid growing doubts about the implementation of U.S.
President Donald Trump's pro-growth agenda.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at market
Stock indexes daily % YTD %
MSCI Emerging Markets 1004.40 0.88 15.47
MSCI LatAm 2505.46 -0.49 7.57
Brazil Bovespa 61673.49 -1.54 2.40
Mexico IPC 48943.46 -0.25 7.23
Chile IPSA 4802.90 0.19 15.69
Chile IGPA 24123.68 0.16 16.35
Argentina MerVal 21500.84 -0.52 27.09
Colombia IGBC 10710.48 0.03 5.75
Venezuela IBC 72650.23 1.43 129.14
Currencies daily % YTD %
Brazil real 3.27763 -0.59 0.87
Mexico peso 18.6620 0.27 10.04
Chile peso 670.5 -0.24 0.03
Colombia peso 2904.95 -0.85 4.00
Peru sol 3.275 -0.31 2.35
Argentina peso (interbank) 16.175 -0.85 -1.89
Argentina peso (parallel) 16.17 -0.68 3.86
(Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Andrew Hay and Tom