EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks fall on Fed hike bets, drop in oil
(Recasts with drop on Fed comments, oil price slump) MEXICO CITY, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks fell on Wednesday after comments from Janet Yellen boosted expectations of a U.S. interest rate hike and oil dipped below $40 a barrel, boding poorly for the region's crude producers. Yellen, the chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, said she was "looking forward" to a rate hike that will be seen as a testament to the U.S. economy's recovery from recession. The Fed's next policy meeting is Dec 15-16. 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. Colombia's stock index closed at its lowest level since April 2009 while Mexico's IPC stock index fell to a two-month low. Both countries are oil producers. The Colombian peso shed more than 1 percent to close at its weakest in three months, pressured by a drop in oil prices amid worries about global oversupply. The Chilean peso and Brazilian real were little changed. 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 2200 GMT: Latin American market prices from Reuters Stock indexes daily % YTD % change change Latest MSCI Emerging Markets 821.78 -0.45 -14.07 MSCI LatAm 1925.59 -1.33 -29.41 Brazil Bovespa 44914.533 -0.29 -10.18 08 Mexico IPC 43417.05 -1.29 0.63 Chile IPSA 3605.1 -0.78 -6.38 Chile IGPA 17808.59 -0.69 -5.63 Argentina MerVal 12706.039 -0.93 48.11 Colombia IGBC 8221.27 -1.66 -29.34 Venezuela IBC 12867.46 0.57 233.46 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.8330 -0.01 -30.67 Mexico peso 16.5616 -0.25 -10.97 Chile peso 703.25 -0.04 -13.77 Colombia peso 3160.6 -1.16 -24.44 Peru sol 3.3689 0.09 -11.57 Argentina peso 9.7050 -0.05 -11.90 (interbank) Argentina peso 14.75 -1.76 -5.08 (parallel) (Reporting by Michael O'Boyle and Bruno Federowski in SAO PAULO; Editing by Andrew Hay)
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