EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks, currencies up ahead of British referendum
(Adds Colombia, analyst comment on Mexico, updates prices) By Bruno Federowski SAO PAULO, June 22 (Reuters) - Most Latin American stocks and currencies rose on Wednesday as optimism grew that Britain would vote to remain in the European Union a day before the closely watched referendum. The Mexican peso strengthened for a fourth consecutive day, sidestepping a drop in crude prices. The peso in Colombia jumped 1.9 percent to its highest in two weeks. Betting markets have shown bigger chances of a "Remain" victory, though opinion polls have generally indicated a tight race. Investors worry a possible "Brexit" could disrupt financial markets and weigh on global risk appetite. Mexico's peso had weakened to a four-month low last week, nearing levels which last triggered direct central bank intervention. The currency in Mexico, Latin America's second-biggest economy, is often used as a proxy for traders taking short positions in other emerging currencies, and could suffer most in the region if Britain votes to leave the European Union. "Despite the recent reiteration of Banxico's hawkish bias, we consider the (Mexican peso) as the most vulnerable in (Latin America) to a flare-up in global macro risks," Societe Generale emerging market strategists said in a note. On Tuesday, a board member from the Bank of Mexico flagged the recent slump in the peso as the biggest risk to Mexico's efforts to meet its inflation target. Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index fell 1.2 percent after rising 4.6 percent over five consecutive positive sessions. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1956 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 830.86 0.67 3.93 MSCI LatAm 2166.91 0.23 18.15 Brazil Bovespa 50228.74 -1.2 15.87 Mexico IPC 45802.81 0.21 6.57 Chile IPSA 3994.67 0.14 8.54 Chile IGPA 19736.48 0.12 8.73 Argentina MerVal 13757.43 0.55 17.83 Colombia IGBC 9874.35 -0.12 15.53 Venezuela IBC 13957.46 -0.76 -4.32 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.3780 0.80 14.42 Mexico peso 18.5015 0.66 -7.38 Chile peso 674.23 0.20 5.00 Colombia peso 2918 1.89 7.93 Peru sol 3.286 0.03 3.75 Argentina peso (interbank) 14.0700 -0.72 -8.38 Argentina peso (parallel) 14.51 -0.35 -1.68 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski, additional reporting by Michael O'Boyle and Anna Yukhananov; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Diane Craft)
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