EMERGING MARKETS-Latam markets little-changed ahead of U.S. holiday
SAO PAULO, May 23 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies and stocks were little-changed on Friday as investors remained on the sidelines ahead of a U.S. market holiday. The MSCI Latin American stock index crept lower after posting its biggest rise in over a week on Thursday, while moves in the Brazilian and Mexican stock markets were also muted. Investors took a breather a day after encouraging economic data from China boosted shares of commodities exporters and fed demand for local currencies. U.S. markets will remain closed on Monday for the Memorial Day holiday, prompting investors to put off making some bets, traders said. "The holiday leaves people more cautious about taking a longer position, and we have important events over the weekend, such as the election in Ukraine," said Fabio Goncalves, a trader with Banrisul Corretora in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Brazil's Bovespa stock index edged lower as a decline in bank shares offset a rise in commodities exporters. Mexico's IPC stock index was also little-changed, as traders remained optimistic despite data showing Latin America's No. 2 economy grew less than expected in the first quarter. "The main engines of growth appear to have started," wrote Nader Nazmi, an economist with BNP Paribas, in a client note. Currency markets were mostly flat, though Chile's peso weakened for a second day as traders sought out dollars to renew expiring forward contracts. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1613 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 1043.31 0.2 3.84 MSCI LatAm 3341.59 -0.02 4.42 Brazil Bovespa 52743.87 -0.12 2.40 Mexico IPC 41969.58 0.06 -1.77 Chile IPSA 3951.66 0.67 6.83 Chile IGPA 19300.31 0.52 5.89 Argentina MerVal 7351.62 -0.31 36.37 Colombia IGBC 13612.89 0.15 4.14 Peru IGRA 15789.2 0.3 0.23 Venezuela IBC 2188.4 0 -20.03 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 2.2159 -0.05 6.36 Mexico peso 12.8622 0.13 1.30 Chile peso 554.7 -0.50 -5.16 Colombia peso 1903.19 0.10 1.51 Peru sol 2.784 0.18 0.32 Argentina peso (interbank) 8.0625 0.03 -19.47 Argentina peso (parallel) 11.5 2.87 -13.04 (Reporting by Priscila Jordao and Asher Levine; editing by Andrew Hay)
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