By Bruno Federowski
SAO PAULO, March 8 Latin American currencies
weakened on Wednesday after data showed hiring by U.S. private
employers surged, solidifying bets on a Federal Reserve interest
rate increase next week.
The ADP National Employment Report showed U.S. private
payrolls added 298,000 jobs in February, well above economists'
expectations of a 190,000 gain.
Bets that the Fed could hike rates soon have been steadily
growing for weeks after several policymakers from the U.S.
central bank publicly stressed that possibility.
Higher rates in the United States could drain capital away
from emerging markets, which often lure foreign investors with
relatively high yields.
The Mexican peso weakened 0.6 percent, while the
Brazilian real slipped 1 percent.
Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index fell 1.2
percent, weighed down by preferred shares of steelmaker Gerdau
Common shares, which are not part of the
benchmark index, rose 17 percent, reducing the spread between
the stocks to the narrowest in more than a year.
Holding company Metalúrgica Gerdau SA said on
Wednesday it will request permission from regulators to swap
each common share they hold in Gerdau for one preferred share in
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1625 GMT:
Stock indexes daily % YTD %
MSCI Emerging Markets 933.55 -0.32 8.61
MSCI LatAm 2561.18 -1.38 10.95
Brazil Bovespa 64968.45 -1.18 7.87
Mexico IPC 47537.08 0.25 4.15
Chile IPSA 4485.93 0.21 8.06
Chile IGPA 22523.45 0.27 8.63
Argentina MerVal 19257.87 0.05 13.83
Colombia IGBC 9896.42 -0.32 -2.29
Venezuela IBC 37553.27 -1.54 18.45
Currencies daily % YTD %
Brazil real 3.1501 -0.99 3.15
Mexico peso 19.6020 -0.57 5.83
Chile peso 662.7 -0.56 1.21
Colombia peso 2991 -1.33 0.35
Peru sol 3.294 -0.46 3.64
Argentina peso (interbank) 15.5900 0.06 1.83
Argentina peso (parallel) 16.07 0.12 4.67
(Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)