EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies rise on dollar outlook
SAO PAULO, June 8 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies strengthened on Monday as investors reacted to a report, later denied, that U.S. authorities were uncomfortable with the dollar's recent gains. Local stock markets were mixed, though the broader MSCI Latin American stock index reversed a three-session slump. U.S. President Barack Obama was quoted in a Bloomberg report, citing an unnamed French official, as saying that a strong dollar was a problem. While the White House denied the report, traders remained cautious, driving the U.S. currency lower globally. With no major local market drivers, the Brazilian real followed suit, strengthening about 0.6 percent against the dollar and erasing losses from the previous three-session slump. Investors remain attentive to the outlook for Brazilian interest rates and the success of a government belt-tightening initiative. The central bank will release the minutes from its most recent rate-setting meeting on Thursday, while the lower house of Congress was set to vote on elements of the fiscal adjustment on Wednesday. Other major currencies in the region gained as well, with Chile's peso adding about 0.8 percent against the dollar. The peso could near a low of 634-642 per dollar in the week, according to Ricardo Bustamante, an analyst with ForexChile in Santiago, who cited weak local economic data as a likely impediment to higher interest rates. In stocks, Brazil's Bovespa index edged slightly higher as a rise in state-run oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA, known as Petrobras, offset a decline in iron-ore exporter Vale SA. Vale shares were hampered by disappointing trade data from China, its No. 1 customer, on Monday. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1556 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 978.01 -0.42 2.7 MSCI LatAm 2504.17 0.87 -8.99 Brazil Bovespa 53154.06 0.34 6.29 Mexico IPC 44550.01 -0.03 3.25 Chile IPSA 3958.32 -0.22 2.79 Chile IGPA 19288.41 -0.21 2.22 Argentina MerVal 11231.68 0.14 30.92 Colombia IGBC 10307.04 0.91 -11.41 Peru IGRA - - - Venezuela IBC - - - Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.1247 0.81 -14.95 Mexico peso 15.6748 0.24 -5.94 Chile peso 631.7 0.76 -4.01 Colombia peso 2613 0.31 -8.61 Peru sol 3.151 0.07 -5.46 Argentina peso 9.0175 -0.03 -5.18 (interbank) Argentina peso 12.55 0.80 11.55 (parallel) (Additional reporting by Froilán Romero in Santiago; Writing by Asher Levine; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)
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