October 17, 2018 / 3:50 PM / 10 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks track Wall St lower, Fed minutes awaited

    By Susan Mathew
    Oct 17 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks fell on Wednesday
after Wall Street declined, while the region's currencies fared
slightly better due to the dollar's limited gains ahead of the
release of minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve's September
    The MSCI Latin American stock index fell 1
percent, while the currency index slipped 0.2
percent, with the Brazilian real's half a percent gain
against the dollar capping losses. 
    The dollar strengthened on safe-haven buying spurred by the
decline in U.S. stocks, although gains were subdued ahead of the
 Fed's minutes at 1800 GMT, which could provide further clarity
on the pace of rate hikes.
    "It is expected that the minutes will show that there is a
high conviction among the members of the Committee (FOMC) to
continue raising the interest rate gradually over the next three
quarters before taking a break from the current strategy,"
analysts at Santander said in a note.
    The Argentine peso lost more than 1 percent, while
the Mexican peso broke a four-day winning streak on the
greenback's strength. The Bank of Mexico is due to release on
Thursday the minutes of its October meeting, at which it kept
rates steady at 7.75 percent.
    However, the real continued its rally on optimism
that presidential front-runner Jair Bolsonaro would win
elections in Brazil later this month. The currency has dropped
in only two sessions so far this month.
    Latin American stocks markets, however, tracked U.S. stocks
lower, with losses on Brazil's Bovespa led by shares of
state-run power generation company Eletrobras
 after the senate rejected a bill regarding the sale
of its distribution companies.
    The privatization of the power company has been in question
with hopes of full-privatization seen fading with Bolsonaro's
advisers being deeply split about the decision.
    Analysts at brokerage Agora said the market may be adjusting
after their strong gains over the last two sessions.
    Mexico's IPC stock index fell a little over half a
percent. A more than 2 percent fall in shares of telecom firm
America Movil led losses after its third-quarter
results fell sort of analyst expectations.  
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1442 GMT:
 Stock indexes                           Daily %      YTD %
                                          change     change
 MSCI Emerging Markets           982.52    -0.22        -15
 MSCI LatAm                     2756.03    -0.64      -1.92
 Brazil Bovespa                85018.71    -0.82      11.28
 Mexico IPC                    47894.09    -0.62      -2.96
 Chile IPSA                     5139.71    -0.09      -0.09
 Argentina MerVal              28992.43    -1.49      -3.57
 Colombia IGBC                 12349.56    -0.77       8.61
 Currencies                              Daily %      YTD %
                                          change     change
 Brazil real                     3.6995     0.50     -10.44
 Mexico peso                    18.8005    -0.26       4.78
 Chile peso                       670.8    -0.24      -8.37
 Colombia peso                  3057.78    -0.25      -2.48
 Peru sol                         3.335    -0.06      -2.94
 Argentina peso (interbank)     36.4000    -1.10     -48.90
 Argentina peso (parallel)           37     0.00     -48.03

 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru and Claudia Violante in
Sao Paulo; 
Editing by Susan Thomas)
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