EMERGING MARKETS-Latam FX drops on Yellen caution; education stocks lift Bovespa

lunes 23 de febrero de 2015 15:04 GYT

RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies
weakened on Monday on fears that U.S. Federal Reserve Chair
Janet Yellen may signal in congressional  testimony on Tuesday
that interest rates could go higher by June despite a recent
slew of weak economic data.
    Greece, another major constraint on global appetite for
risk, also weighed on investor sentiment as Athens missed a 
deadline on Monday to present reform plans that are needed to
seal a euro zone financial lifeline. 
    "Until Greece secures the deal, markets will remain heavy,"
said Luciano Rostagno, chief strategist at Mizuho Bank in
    Prospects for higher U.S. interest rates and fears that
Greece may be forced to leave the euro zone have been among the
main drags on emerging markets recently as they reduce
investors' appetite for risk.
    The Colombian peso led regional losses, falling 1.6
percent. The Chilean peso slid 1.1 percent as it was also
weighed on by a drop in prices for copper, the country's main
export product. 
    The Brazilian real dropped 0.4 percent to 2.8773 to
the dollar after earlier sliding past 2.9 per dollar for the
first time in more than 10 years.
    Latin American stock markets were steady, however, with
Brazil's benchmark Bovespa index up 0.1 percent. 
    Supporting the Brazilian market were shares of education
companies such as Kroton Educacional SA, which jumped
6 percent after the government clarified new rules for a student
loan program that had been considered detrimental to education
    Key Latin American currencies and stock indexes at 1845 GMT
 Stock indexes                   daily %    YTD %
                                  change   change
 MSCI Emerging           982.26    -0.22     2.94
 MSCI LatAm             2630.21      0.1    -3.67
 Brazil Bovespa        51295.09     0.11     2.57
 Mexico IPC            43572.38     0.05     0.99
 Chile IPSA             4034.64     1.01     4.77
 Chile IGPA            19600.26     0.87     3.87
 Argentina MerVal      9482.569     0.48    10.53
 Colombia IGBC         10525.35     0.38    -9.53
 Peru IGRA             13638.54    -0.95    -7.81
 Venezuela IBC          3481.78     1.95    -9.77
 Currencies                      daily %    YTD %
                                  change   change
 Brazil real             2.8773    -0.44    -7.64
 Mexico peso             15.043    -0.15    -1.99
 Chile peso               622.5    -1.12    -2.59
 Colombia peso          2498.26    -1.58    -4.41
 Peru sol                 3.091    -0.29    -3.62
 Argentina peso          8.7075    -0.06    -1.81
 Argentina peso           13.12    -0.38     6.71

 (Reporting by Walter Brandimarte in Rio de Janeiro and Bruno
Federowski in Sao Paulo; Editing by Peter Galloway)