By Bruno Federowski
SAO PAULO, Sept 21 Latin American stocks and
currencies mostly rose on Wednesday ahead of a U.S. interest
rate decision, as the Bank of Japan overhauled its policies
after years of unprecedented money printing proved ineffective.
The Brazilian real firmed 0.6 percent to its
strongest in more than a week, while Mexico's IPC index
advanced for a second day as traders cheered the new Japanese
The BOJ will switch to targeting interest rates on
government debt instead of setting a fixed amount of bonds to be
purchased each month. The bank also committed to letting
inflation overshoot its elusive 2 percent target.
Nevertheless, Credit Suisse strategist Andrew Garthwaite
said the move should be seen as more of a "tightening of policy
than an easing".
"The market does not believe the inflation target, and our
economists are also extremely skeptical the BOJ will succeed in
generating sustainable inflation", he wrote in a client email.
The revamped policy coincides with uncertainty over global
monetary policy as European Central Bank efforts to boost
stubbornly low inflation show tepid results and the U.S. Federal
Reserve edges closer to lifting interest rates from near-zero
The Fed's rate-setting committee will release its policy
statement at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT) on Wednesday. Fed Chair Janet
Yellen is scheduled to hold her quarterly press conference half
an hour later.
"The market is nearly certain that rates will not rise now
and I believe it has already priced a hawkish tone" in Yellen's
remarks, Fair brokerage head of currency trading Mario Battistel
Brazil's Bovespa benchmark stock index was nearly
flat. Payment processor Cielo SA dropped after
Goldman Sachs cut its price target for the stock.
Shares of miner Vale rose on a report on the website of
newspaper O Globo that the company will sell two thirds of its
fertilizer unit to Mosaic Co for $3 billion.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1505 GMT:
Stock indexes daily % YTD %
Latest change change
MSCI Emerging Markets 905.42 0.73 13.18
MSCI LatAm 2347.66 0.1 28.17
Brazil Bovespa 57754.91 0.03 33.23
Mexico IPC 46552.71 0.46 8.32
Chile IPSA 4072.84 0.24 10.67
Chile IGPA 20268.65 0.23 11.66
Argentina MerVal 16105.27 0.57 37.94
Colombia IGBC 9857.76 0.01 15.33
Venezuela IBC 12213.35 -0.27 -16.28
Currencies daily % YTD %
Brazil real 3.2416 0.55 21.76
Mexico peso 19.8400 -0.13 -13.16
Chile peso 666.2 0.69 6.53
Colombia peso 2894 0.71 9.51
Peru sol 3.373 0.47 1.22
Argentina peso (interbank) 15.1400 0.03 -14.25
Argentina peso (parallel) 15.61 0.96 -8.58
(Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Additional reporting by Claudia
Violante; Editing by Grant McCool)