January 15, 2020 / 3:06 PM / a month ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Rouble slides as government resigns; Brazil's real dips on weak data

    * Rouble hits one-week low as Medvedev's govt resigns
    * Brazilian real slips after disappointing retail sales
    * Investors pause ahead of Sino-U.S. trade deal signing
    * Chilean peso dips; Mexico's peso, Peru's sol firm

    By Sagarika Jaisinghani and Ambar Warrick
    Jan 15 (Reuters) - Russia's rouble tumbled on Wednesday as
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced his government's
resignation, while Brazil's currency and stocks eased after the
release of weaker-than-expected retail sales figures.
    The rouble hit a one-week low after Medvedev, a close
ally of President Vladimir Putin, announced the resignation in a
move he said was to give the president room to carry out changes
to the constitution.
    But by 9:21 a.m. EST (1421 GMT), the currency had recovered
to trade near flat versus the dollar.
    "We see Russia's macro and credit fundamentals as quite
strong and see those as mitigating the uncertainty from these
political developments," said Jakob Christensen, head of
emerging market research at Danske Bank.
    "I don't think it will be a major driver for Russian
assets."
    Other developing world currencies were pressured by a 0.7%
fall for Brazil's real, as data showed retail sales in
Latin America's biggest economy rose just 0.6% in November from
the previous month, below a forecast of 1.1%.
    An index of Latin American currencies, which
is heavily weighted toward the real, dipped about 0.2%.
    Brazilian assets have lagged regional peers this year as
optimism around faster global growth was dimmed by a spate of
mixed domestic economic data, despite several attempts by the
central bank to kick-start the economy.
    The mood on Wednesday was further dulled by reports that
China had pledged to increase purchases of U.S. agricultural
goods by about $32 billion under an initial deal to end the long
trade war between the world's two biggest economies. China is
Brazil's biggest market for soybeans.
    "Chinese purchases of U.S. agricultural products might mean
that there's less demand left there for Brazilian soybeans,"
said Edward Glossop, Latin America economist at Capital
Economics in London.
    U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He
were to sign the Phase 1 agreement in Washington on Wednesday,
after which the text of the deal will be disclosed.
    The Chilean peso eased about 0.3% versus the dollar
on lower copper prices and lingering caution after rare
anti-government protests in the country last year.
    Mexico's peso and the Peruvian sol firmed
slightly, while the Colombian peso was almost unchanged.
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1434 GMT:
   
     Stock indexes              Latest    Daily % change
 MSCI Emerging Markets           1140.17           -0.32
                                          
 MSCI LatAm                      2895.11            -0.6
                                          
 Brazil Bovespa                117003.85           -0.53
                                          
 Mexico IPC                            -               -
                                          
 Chile SPIPSA                    4908.76           -0.27
                                          
 Argentina MerVal               42264.25           1.514
                                          
 Colombia Colcap                 1651.92           -0.08
                                          
                                                        
        Currencies              Latest    Daily % change
 Brazil real                      4.1521           -0.52
                                          
 Mexico peso                     18.7748            0.00
                                          
 Chile peso                        771.4           -0.09
                                          
 Colombia peso                   3286.52           -0.01
 Peru sol                          3.319            0.06
                                          
 Argentina peso (interbank)      59.9200            0.23
                                          
 
 (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; Editing by
David Gregorio)
  
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