EMERGING MARKETS-Latam markets drop on growth fears; Brazil's real hangs on

jueves 20 de agosto de 2015 10:36 GYT

SAO PAULO, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies
weakened on Thursday, tracking a broader decline in emerging
market assets, though the passage of a fiscal austerity bill
helped prop up Brazil's real.
    The Colombian and Mexican pesos  had the
sharpest losses in the region, mainly due to lower prices for
oil, an important commodity export for both countries.
    Commodities prices in general faced downward pressure on
continuing concern over economic growth in China, a major
purchaser of Latin America's raw materials. 
    In addition, minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's most
recent policy meeting, released Wednesday, suggested some
policymakers remain cautious on the health of the world's
largest economy, sapping appetite for riskier investments.
    The Brazilian real managed to stay in positive
territory, however, after the Senate passed a bill late on
Wednesday to roll back payroll tax breaks. The bill is a key
measure in President Dilma Rousseff's efforts to reduce a gaping
budget deficit and ward off a sovereign credit downgrade.
    The outlook for Brazil's economy remains dismal, however.
Brazil's unemployment rate rose for a seventh straight month in
July to the highest in over five years, government data showed
on Thursday, underscoring expectations for a deep recession in
    Yields on Brazilian interest rate futures <0#DIJ:> dropped
at the short end of the curve as traders cut bets that the
central bank would hike rates to tame Brazil's stubbornly high
inflation rate, currently at 9.57 percent on an annual basis.
    "The deterioration in the labor market is happening very
quickly, much more than anyone expected," said fixed-income
strategist Paulo Celso Nepomuceno at Sao Paulo brokerage
    Equities markets moved lower across Latin America with
Brazil's Bovespa stock index and Mexico's IPC index
 both dropping about 1 percent. 
    The broader MSCI Latin American stock index 
also lost 1 percent, falling to its lowest level since March
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1422 GMT:
 Stock indexes                        daily %    YTD %
                             Latest    change   change
 MSCI Emerging Markets        828.36    -1.45   -12.11
 MSCI LatAm                  2082.09    -0.95   -22.94
 Brazil Bovespa           46135.4858    -0.97    -7.74
 Mexico IPC                 43079.31    -0.91    -0.15
 Chile IPSA                  3773.88    -0.11    -2.00
 Chile IGPA                 18439.58     -0.1    -2.28
 Argentina MerVal           10954.22        0    27.69
 Colombia IGBC               9413.91    -0.68   -19.09
 Venezuela IBC               14908.4        0   286.35
 Currencies                           daily %    YTD %
                                       change   change
 Brazil real                  3.4718     0.40   -23.45
 Mexico peso                 16.7445    -0.67   -11.95
 Chile peso                   693.98    -0.10   -12.69
 Colombia peso                3053.5    -0.99   -21.79
 Peru sol                     3.2571    -0.06    -8.54
 Argentina peso               9.2450     0.05    -7.52
 Argentina peso                 15.1    -0.33    -7.28

 (Reporting by Asher Levine and Bruno Federowski; Editing by
Peter Galloway)