EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies strengthen on oil price recovery
By Bruno Federowski SAO PAULO, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Most Latin America currencies strengthened in thin trading on Wednesday as a recovery in oil prices boosted the demand for risky assets ahead of this week's Christmas holiday. Crude prices extended their recovery from 11-year lows after an unexpected drop in U.S. oil stocks, dragging other commodities along. Expectations of fresh stimulus in China, the world's biggest consumer of metals, also helped lift sentiment. The Brazilian real advanced for a second day after hitting its lowest rate against the U.S. dollar in two-and-a half months on Monday, while the Colombian peso jumped 1 percent. The Chilean peso advanced 0.5 percent, tracking a rise in copper prices, the country's biggest export. Trading volumes were thin as many investors were away ahead of Christmas holiday later this week. Most Latin American markets will close early on Thursday and will not open on Friday. "Markets are winding down ahead of the holidays," Scotiabank analysts wrote in a client note. Yields paid on interest rates futures contracts in Brazil were slightly lower despite an increase in the central bank's inflation forecast for next year. Traders have been betting on higher rates since two of the eight members of the central bank's rate-setting committee voted for a sharp hike in November. Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1350 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % change change Latest MSCI Emerging Markets 801.73 0.9 -16.91 MSCI LatAm 1846.2 1.1 -33.05 Brazil Bovespa 43961.39 1.13 -12.09 Chile IPSA 3618.53 0.29 -6.04 Chile IGPA 17870.12 0.27 -5.30 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.9659 0.54 -32.99 Mexico peso 17.1924 -0.03 -14.24 Chile peso 693.7 0.53 -12.58 Colombia peso 3278 1.07 -27.15 Argentina peso (interbank) 13.0400 -0.38 -34.43 Argentina peso (parallel) 13.87 0.22 0.94 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski Editing by W Simon)
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