EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil's real drops to 3 per dollar on fiscal data, U.S. outlook
SAO PAULO, April 30 (Reuters) - The Brazilian real weakened sharply on Thursday following disappointing government fiscal results and strong labor market data in the United States. Other Latin American currencies followed suit, but more modestly, while the region's stock markets were little-changed. The Brazilian government on Thursday reported its smallest primary budget surplus for the month of March in five years, calling into question its ability to meet the year's fiscal goal and restore investor confidence. Concerns over a potential downgrade of Brazil's sovereign credit rating due to poor fiscal management have weighed on the outlook for local securities. The real fell back to the 3-per-dollar mark after nearly a week trading on the stronger side of the closely watched level. Traders said the currency's loss was also driven by data on Thursday that showed the number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits tumbled to a 15-year low last week. Strong U.S. data tends to increase investor bets that U.S. interest rates will rise sooner rather than later, making higher-yielding, but riskier, Latin American assets less appealing. Other currencies in the region including the Mexican and Chilean pesos weakened less sharply. Stock markets were mostly calm, with Brazil's Bovespa index making up for part of the previous session's losses. Shares of retailer Lojas Renner SA jumped nearly 9 percent after the clothing retailer posted stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1751 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 1046.13 -1.26 10.79 MSCI LatAm 2677.8 -1.73 -0.1 Brazil Bovespa 55656.33 0.6 11.30 Mexico IPC 44688.01 -0.57 3.57 Chile IPSA 4050.71 -0.11 5.19 Chile IGPA 19653.97 -0.01 4.15 Argentina MerVal 12166.649 -0.14 41.82 Colombia IGBC 10775.46 0.03 -7.38 Peru IGRA 13321.6 0.63 -9.95 Venezuela IBC 5768.13 0.72 110.78 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.0085 -1.73 -21.66 Mexico peso 15.375 -0.92 -15.25 Chile peso 611.5 -0.57 -13.97 Colombia peso 2382.54 -0.32 -18.91 Peru sol 3.1291 -0.29 -10.74 Argentina peso 8.9050 -0.03 -27.09 (interbank) Argentina peso 12.65 0.63 -20.95 (parallel) (Reporting by Asher Levine; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)
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