EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies steady ahead of Fed speakers
SAO PAULO, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Most Latin American currencies were little changed in Wednesday trading as investors avoided making big bets ahead of speeches by U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers, including Chair Janet Yellen, that could yield fresh clues about when U.S. interest rates will start to rise. Traders widely expect the U.S. central bank to start tightening policy as soon as this month, which could drive investment away from high-yielding emerging market assets. Most expect additional rate hikes to come gradually. "If investors can be sure that the U.S. economy is solid we might anticipate a positive response; but investors can't be sure," Standard Bank analysts wrote in a client note. "The Fed might even abandon lift-off (in December) altogether if it feels the economic risks are too great". The Chilean peso and Brazilian real were nearly flat before a scheduled speech by Yellen later on Wednesday. Other members of the Fed's policy-setting committee were scheduled to speak in coming days. The Colombian peso slumped 1.5 percent, pressured by a drop in oil prices amid worries about global oversupply. Brazil's stock exchange suspended trading of shares of Grupo BTG Pactual SA to give Latin America's largest independent investment bank time to provide more information after André Esteves gave up control of the company. Esteves was arrested last week under suspicion of obstructing a sweeping investigation of corruption stemming from state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA. Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1445 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % change change Latest MSCI Emerging Markets 822.22 -0.39 -13.68 MSCI LatAm 1946.26 -0.28 -28.45 Brazil Bovespa 45120.75 0.16 -9.77 Mexico IPC 44000.17 0.03 1.98 Chile IPSA 3635.07 0.04 -5.61 Chile IGPA 17937.95 0.03 -4.94 Argentina MerVal 12779.439 -0.36 48.96 Colombia IGBC 8315.77 -0.53 -28.53 Venezuela IBC 12794.79 0 231.58 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.8505 0.09 -30.98 Mexico peso 16.5554 -0.21 -10.94 Chile peso 703.4 -0.06 -13.79 Colombia peso 3172.5 -1.54 -24.73 Peru sol 3.3721 0.00 -11.66 Argentina peso (interbank) 9.6950 0.05 -11.81 Argentina peso (parallel) 14.53 -0.28 -3.65 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)
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