EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies up as U.S. data points to later rate hike

jueves 14 de mayo de 2015 12:43 GYT

SAO PAULO, May 14 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies
strengthened on Thursday after U.S. economic data suggested that
interest rates in the world's largest economy could rise later
rather than sooner. 
    Equities markets were mixed, although the regional MSCI
Latin American stock index remained in positive
territory for the second straight day.
    Data on Thursday showed inflation in the United States
remained muted in April due to a strong dollar and lower oil
prices. That, along with signs of modest economic growth early
in the second quarter, encouraged investors to bet that the
Federal Reserve would probably not raise interest rates until
later in the year, making higher-yielding assets such as Latin
American securities more attractive.
    Nearly every currency in the region gained against the
greenback, with the Brazilian real  returning to the
three-per-dollar level. Most analysts see that exchange rate as
a floor for the currency, given ongoing uncertainty over the
health of Brazil's economy and doubts over the success of a
recently implemented austerity program.
    The Chilean peso strengthened for the third straight
session, rising to its strongest level against the dollar in
5-1/2 months. Investors have been mostly optimistic about the
copper-exporting nation following the appointment of economist
Rodrigo Valdes as its finance minister earlier in the week. 
    In local stocks, Brazil's benchmark Bovespa index 
edged lower on a decline in shares of state-run lender Banco do
Brasil SA.
    The bank on Thursday reported a lower-than-expected
quarterly profit and showed deteriorating trends in loan-loss
provisions, defaults and interest income. 
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1638 GMT:
 Stock indexes                           daily %     YTD %
                             Latest       change    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets         1035.74      0.18      8.11
 MSCI LatAm                    2721.17      0.52     -0.75
 Brazil Bovespa               56210.79     -0.29     12.40
 Mexico IPC                   45245.43      0.46      4.87
 Chile IPSA                    4082.89     -0.39      6.02
 Chile IGPA                   19812.54      -0.3      4.99
 Argentina MerVal            12223.369      0.25     42.48
 Colombia IGBC                10596.07      0.12     -8.93
 Peru IGRA                 -            -            -
 Venezuela IBC                 5666.62      0.51    107.07
 Currencies                              daily %     YTD %
                                          change    change
 Brazil real                    3.0023      1.14    -21.50
 Mexico peso                   15.0988      1.10    -13.70
 Chile peso                      595.3      1.00    -11.62
 Colombia peso                  2396.2     -0.38    -19.37
 Peru sol                        3.149      0.07    -11.31
 Argentina peso                 8.9425     -0.03    -27.40
 Argentina peso                  12.55      0.32    -20.32
 (Reporting by Asher Levine; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)