EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies strengthen alongside rouble
SAO PAULO, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies strengthened on Friday as a gain in Russia's rouble eased investor jitters over a potential financial crisis in the country and the resulting impact on other emerging markets. The MSCI Latin American stock index rose for the third straight day, though gains in the region's equity markets were modest. Russia's rouble rose about 4 percent on Friday, climbing to 59.50 per dollar after touching nearly 80 per dollar earlier in the week. Investors are concerned that an uncontrolled decline in the rouble, which has suffered from lower oil prices and political risk over Russia's conflict with Ukraine, would create broader risks for neighboring economies and emerging markets in general. The rouble's gain on Friday came after verbal interventions from Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, who said the currency would firm early next year. The Mexican and Chilean pesos both posted slight gains against the dollar as risk appetite picked up, while the Colombian peso continued to rise a day after posting its biggest gain in nearly four years. The Brazilian real followed suit, rising about 0.2 percent against the dollar, though weaker-than-expected unemployment and current account data on Friday underlined medium-term risks lingering over the currency. "The fundamental backdrop for Brazil remains horrible," Brown Brothers Harriman analysts wrote in a client note on Friday, adding that support for the real lies near 2.65 per dollar, with resistance near 2.70. Brazil's Bovespa stock index erased the previous session's losses as higher oil prices helped stoke a nearly 4 percent gain in state-run oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA , known as Petrobras. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1416 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 944.15 0.97 -6.74 MSCI LatAm 2695.87 0.99 -16.6 Brazil Bovespa 49039.41 1.12 -4.79 Mexico IPC - - - Chile IPSA 3808.92 0.01 2.97 Chile IGPA 18699.4 0.01 2.59 Argentina MerVal 0 0 -100.00 Colombia IGBC 11024.5 0 -15.66 Peru IGRA 14364.03 -0.18 -8.82 Venezuela IBC 3941.39 0 44.03 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 2.6487 0.17 -11.02 Mexico peso 14.5138 0.39 -10.22 Chile peso 612.2 0.33 -14.06 Colombia peso 2295.69 0.85 -15.84 Peru sol 2.936 0.07 -4.87 Argentina peso 8.5525 0.00 -24.09 (interbank) Argentina peso 13.1 0.00 -23.66 (parallel) (Reporting by Asher Levine; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)
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