EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies fall; Mexican, Colombian pesos hit record lows

viernes 11 de diciembre de 2015 19:18 GYT

(Adds closing prices, details on Colombian peso)
    SAO PAULO, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies
weakened on Friday after slides in oil prices and China's yuan
sent investors scurrying for the safety of the dollar, dragging
the Mexican and Colombian pesos to record lows.
    The yuan fell to its lowest in more than four years, raising
expectations that Beijing could allow an even larger
depreciation as the economy shows increasing signs of weakness.
    The move was followed by a slump in the Mexican peso 
to an all-time low at 17.44 per dollar. Also pressuring the
currency was a drop in crude prices  to their
lowest in seven years, amid concerns about global oversupply.
    At the close of local trading, the Mexican currency was down
1.12 percent on Friday at 17.394 pesos per dollar.
    Under pressure from the same quarters, Colombia's peso
 closed down 2.52 percent at a new low of 3.328 per
    Investors also braced for an expected U.S. interest rate
increase next week, which could pull investments away from
high-yielding emerging market assets. Some traders were
comforted, however, by signs that the Federal Reserve, the U.S.
central bank, will tighten monetary policy slowly from then on.
    The Brazilian real closed down 1.92 percent at 3.8738
per dollar, hit by media reports saying Finance Minister Joaquim
Levy threatened to leave his post if Congress lowered the
country's fiscal target for 2016.
    Levy has spearheaded efforts to cut spending and raise taxes
in order to regain investor trust and fight a worsening
recession. Traders worried that his exit could herald a return
to the interventionist policies adopted during President Dilma
Rousseff's first term in office.
    Latin American stock indexes at 2200 GMT:
 Stock indexes                 Latest     Daily   YTD pct
                                           pct    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets           773.56    -1.96   -19.11
 MSCI LatAm                    1,856.54    -3.03   -31.94
 Brazil Bovespa               45,262.72    -0.81    -9.49
 Chile IPSA                    3,533.07    -0.88    -8.25
 Chile IGPA                   17,493.78    -0.75    -7.30
 Argentina MerVal             12,779.23    -2.49    48.96
 Colombia IGBC                             -0.75   -31.51
 Venezuela IBC                15,005.31     0.81   288.87
 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski and Nelson Bocanegra; Editing by
Meredith Mazzilli and James Dalgleish)