EMERGING MARKETS-Latam markets weaken on Ukraine concerns
SAO PAULO, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies and stocks weakened on Thursday after escalating tensions in Ukraine overshadowed encouraging U.S. economic data and sapped demand for riskier assets. The broader MSCI Latin American stock index moved lower after a three-day rally, while most of the region's currencies declined slightly. Ukraine's president said on Thursday that Russian forces had entered his country and the military conflict was worsening. In response, investors moved toward safe-haven assets such as German government bonds and the U.S. dollar. The dollar was also boosted by data that showed the U.S. economy rebounded more strongly in the second quarter than initially reported, while the number of Americans filing new applications for jobless benefits fell last week. "Everything that we are seeing from abroad today is pushing the dollar higher," said Tarcísio Rodrigues, head of currency trading at Sao Paulo's Banco Paulista. The Brazilian real weakened for the first session in three. Investors will keep their eyes on official gross domestic product data, due on Friday morning. Argentina's official peso rate stood nearly unchanged at 8.40 to the dollar after the government on Thursday ruled out a second sharp devaluation of the currency this year. The black market rate sits at 14.33 per dollar, according to Wednesday's data. Peru's Nuevo Sol edged lower after the government on Wednesday cut the official estimate for economic growth this year to 4.2 percent from 5.7 percent. In equity markets, Brazil's Bovespa stock index dropped from a 19-month high, weighed down by a sharp fall in mining firm Vale SA. Vale shares were off about 7 percent in the six sessions through Thursday, mostly due to declining prices for iron ore, the company's main product. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1422 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 1086.92 -0.62 9.08 MSCI LatAm 3612.01 -0.36 13.26 Brazil Bovespa 60589.96 -0.59 17.63 Mexico IPC 45405.89 -0.43 6.27 Chile IPSA 3964.46 -0.22 7.17 Chile IGPA 19297.59 -0.19 5.87 Argentina MerVal 0 0 -100.00 Colombia IGBC 14561.5 -0.04 11.40 Peru IGRA 17050.52 0.14 8.23 Venezuela IBC 2596.75 0 -5.11 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 2.2500 -0.23 4.75 Mexico peso 13.0955 -0.09 -0.50 Chile peso 592.5 -0.42 -11.21 Colombia peso 1938.19 -0.45 -0.32 Peru sol 2.848 -0.04 -1.93 Argentina peso (interbank) 8.4000 0.03 -22.71 Argentina peso (parallel) 14.33 -0.91 -30.22 (Reporting by Asher Levine and Bruno Federowski; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)
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