By Bruno Federowski
SAO PAULO, March 2 Latin American stocks and
currencies fell on Thursday on growing expectations of a March
U.S. interest rate increase that could reduce the allure of
Several Federal Reserve officials have stressed in recent
days that a rate hike could come as soon as this month.
Late on Wednesday, Fed Governor Lael Brainard said an
improving global economy and a solid U.S. recovery mean a raise
will be "appropriate soon."
The Brazilian real slipped 1.1 percent but remained
close to the strongest levels in nearly two years. The Mexican
and Colombian pesos also weakened.
Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index fell 1.5
percent, with shares of drinks company Ambev SA the
The São Paulo-based subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev NV
reported weak quarterly sales and rising costs in its
main market of Brazil.
Yields paid on Brazilian interest rate futures were nearly
flat as traders remained split on a potential acceleration of
interest rate cuts following the release of last week's central
bank policy minutes.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1550 GMT:
Stock indexes daily % YTD %
MSCI Emerging Markets 935.20 -0.35 8.84
MSCI LatAm 2581.56 -1.31 11.76
Brazil Bovespa 65991.87 -1.49 9.57
Mexico IPC 47078.12 -0.79 3.14
Chile IPSA 4414.85 0.34 6.35
Chile IGPA 22097.38 0.41 6.57
Argentina MerVal 19215.74 -0.73 13.58
Colombia IGBC 9858.55 -0.32 -2.66
Venezuela IBC 36222.51 -0.02 14.25
Currencies daily % YTD %
Brazil real 3.1252 -1.05 3.97
Mexico peso 19.9240 -0.62 4.12
Chile peso 655.9 -0.82 2.26
Colombia peso 2964.4 -1.23 1.25
Peru sol 3.27 -0.34 4.40
Argentina peso (interbank) 15.3600 0.42 3.35
Argentina peso (parallel) 15.95 1.82 5.45
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)