EMERGING MARKETS-Plunging oil batters Latin American markets

lunes 5 de enero de 2015 14:35 GYT

RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies
and stocks fell on Monday as U.S. crude oil prices plunged below
$50 a barrel for the first time since 2009, darkening the
outlook for the region's commodities exports.
    Shares of Brazilian state-run oil company Petroleo
Brasileiro SA drove Brazil's benchmark Bovespa index 2
percent lower, while the Colombian peso, one of the regional
currencies most vulnerable to lower oil prices, sank 2.4
    Petrobras, as the Brazilian oil company is known, sank more
than 7 percent. It has lost about 60 percent of its value since
mid-October, when top executives at several of Petrobras'
contractors were arrested as part of an investigation into an
alleged corruption scheme at the oil company. 
    As a result of their recent drop, Petrobras shares have lost
nearly half of their weighting on the Bovespa index, according
to the new index portfolio that went into effect on Monday.
    The currencies of Colombia and Brazil led
losses in Latin American foreign exchange markets as investors
feared the impact of lower commodity prices on economic growth.
The currencies would also be hurt an expected rise in U.S.
interest rates.
    "The Brazilian real and the Colombian peso are the most
vulnerable to tighter external financial conditions in 2015,"
Flavia Cattan-Naslausky, a currency strategist at RBS, said in a
research note.     
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1820 GMT:
 Stock indexes                   daily %    YTD %
                                  change   change
 MSCI Emerging           939.73    -1.47    -0.27
 MSCI LatAm             2553.98    -3.15    -3.32
 Brazil Bovespa        47533.56    -2.02    -4.95
 Mexico IPC             40906.3    -2.87    -5.19
 Chile IPSA             3803.37    -1.24    -1.24
 Chile IGPA            18673.71    -1.04    -1.04
 Argentina MerVal       8153.33    -5.92    -4.96
 Colombia IGBC         11009.97    -3.59    -5.37
 Peru IGRA             14701.87    -0.62    -0.62
 Venezuela IBC          3936.38     2.01     2.01
 Currencies                      daily %    YTD %
                                  change   change
 Brazil real             2.7194    -1.03    -2.28
 Mexico peso            14.9575    -0.85    -1.43
 Chile peso              616.75    -0.53    -1.68
 Colombia peso           2429.9    -2.36    -1.72
 Peru sol                 2.988    -0.30    -0.30
 Argentina peso          8.5625    -0.06    -0.15
 Argentina peso           13.75     1.82     1.82

 (Reporting by Walter Brandimarte; Editing by Peter Galloway)