EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil's real slides on central bank, Fed uncertainty
By Bruno Federowski SAO PAULO, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Brazil's currency slid to its weakest in 9-1/2 years on Monday, driven by investor uncertainty over the central bank's currency intervention program and the outlook for U.S. interest rates. Brazil's Bovespa stock index index was little changed, while Mexico's IPC index sank to an over seven-month low. The Brazilian real weakened for the fourth straight session, falling as low as 2.677 against the dollar. Investors have been attentive to any signal from Brazil's central bank on the outlook for its daily currency swap auction program. The intervention program offers hedging protection to local businesses and helps support the real by acting as the equivalent of future dollar sales. Central bank chief Alexandre Tombini has said the current stock of swaps was enough to satisfy hedging demands, raising expectations that the program will be wound down in 2015. "Every day that goes by the market gets more anxious about the central bank, and when there is uncertainty the market seeks protection in the dollar," said Glauber Romano, a trader at Intercam in Sao Paulo. Traders also said they were being cautious ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's next policy statement, due Wednesday. The statement will likely signal the central bank's comfort level with raising interest rates next year. Mexico's IPC stock index fell sharply after reopening from a market holiday on Friday. Local markets had dropped that day on a decline in oil prices and concerns over the future of the Chinese economy. Telecommunications firm America Movil contributed the most to the index's decline on Monday, as well as shares of cement maker Cemex. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1454 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 928.49 -1.06 -6.41 MSCI LatAm 2,585.36 -0.96 -18.44 Brazil Bovespa 47,834.85 -0.35 -7.13 Mexico IPC 41,076.65 -1.53 -3.86 Chile IPSA 3,809.32 0.18 2.98 Chile IGPA 18,700.39 0.14 2.60 Argentina MerVal 8,258.22 -0.1 53.18 Colombia IGBC 10,581.63 0.09 -19.05 Peru IGRA 14,672.51 -0.17 -6.86 Venezuela IBC 3,863.00 0 41.16 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 2.6818 -0.99 -12.12 Mexico peso 14.7955 -0.21 -11.93 Chile peso 618.5000 - -14.94 Colombia peso 2406.9500 -0.08 -19.73 Peru sol 2.9610 - -5.67 Argentina peso 8.5525 0.00 -24.09 (interbank) Argentina peso 12.9000 -0.39 -22.48 (parallel) (Writing by Asher Levine; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)
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