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EMERGING MARKETS-LatAm currencies weaken slightly ahead of expected U.S. rate hike
March 14, 2017 / 4:13 PM / 8 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-LatAm currencies weaken slightly ahead of expected U.S. rate hike

    By Bruno Federowski
    SAO PAULO, March 14 (Reuters) - Most Latin American
currencies weakened slightly on Tuesday as traders avoided big
bets ahead of a widely expected U.S. interest rate increase on
Wednesday.
    A batch of stronger-than-expected U.S. economic data and
policymaker remarks have made investors all but certain that the
U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates.
    Higher U.S. rates could drain capital away from
high-yielding emerging markets, weighing on their currencies.
    Still, many believe markets have already anticipated the
hike, with price reaction hinging on the tone of the policy
statement to be released after a two-day meeting.
    Against the dollar, the Mexican peso slipped 0.1
percent, while the Brazilian real fell 0.3 percent.
    Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index declined 0.3
percent, hit by falling shares of state-controlled oil company
Petróleo Brasileiro SA. Stock in Petrobras, as the
firm is known, tracked a decrease in crude futures following an
increase in U.S. oil inventories.
    Shares of meatpacker JBS SA were among the
biggest gainers after the company forecast stronger profit
margins this year, despite lower-than-expected fourth-quarter
earnings reported late on Monday.
    

    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1545 GMT:
 Stock indexes                             daily %    YTD %
                                  Latest    change   change
 MSCI Emerging Markets             940.56     0.22     8.84
                                                    
 MSCI LatAm                       2549.31     -0.7     9.69
                                                    
 Brazil Bovespa                  65294.78    -0.37     8.41
 Mexico IPC                      46867.15     -0.5     2.68
 Chile IPSA                       4522.74    -0.43     8.95
                                                    
 Chile IGPA                      22719.12    -0.37     9.57
 Argentina MerVal                19010.71    -0.92    12.37
                                                    
 Colombia IGBC                    9907.11     -0.7    -2.18
                                                    
 Venezuela IBC                   37860.87    -0.51    19.42
                                                           
 Currencies                                daily %    YTD %
                                            change   change
                                   Latest           
 Brazil real                       3.1613    -0.30     2.78
                                                    
 Mexico peso                      19.6310    -0.08     5.67
                                                    
 Chile peso                         669.1    -0.36     0.24
                                                    
 Colombia peso                     2995.4    -0.56     0.20
 Peru sol                           3.284     0.03     3.96
                                                    
 Argentina peso (interbank)       15.5300     0.10     2.22
                                                    
 Argentina peso (parallel)          16.04     0.25     4.86
                                                    
 

 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by W Simon)
  

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