EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks, currencies seesaw on U.S., China data
By Bruno Federowski SAO PAULO, July 15 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks and currencies seesawed on Friday as traders digested strong China and U.S. economic data as well as an attack in the south of France that killed at least 84 people. China's economy expanded slightly faster than expected in the second quarter while retail sales jumped in June, allaying concerns over global economic weakness. However, some investors bet that could allow the U.S. Federal Reserve to increase interest rates later this year, weighing on high-yielding emerging markets. Many traders also refrained from buying riskier assets following Thursday's attack in France, which President François Hollande called a terrorist act by an enemy determined to strike all nations that share France's values. Mexico's peso weakened 0.9 percent, but the country's benchmark IPC stock index neared fresh record highs. The Brazilian real declined 4 percent after strengthening as much as 0.5 percent earlier in the day. A drop in blue-chip stocks such as Itaú Unibanco SA and Ambev SA weighed on the country's Bovespa index . Shares of education companies Kroton Educacional SA and Estácio Participações SA turned positive early in the afternoon after Brazil's education minister announced the government will extend and enlarge a student financing program into 2017. Both stocks had ranked among the biggest losers earlier on Friday after a change in the plan's rules made it the companies' obligation to pay financial institutions which participate in it. Shares of power utility Cesp SA posted their biggest jump in almost eight years after the finance secretary of the state of São Paulo, the company's main shareholder, said a possible sale to investors is under consideration. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1610 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % change change Latest MSCI Emerging Markets 867.02 0.13 9.04 MSCI LatAm 2345.84 -1.19 29.74 Brazil Bovespa 55292.91 -0.34 27.55 Mexico IPC 46643.34 0.31 8.53 Chile IPSA 4083.06 0.2 10.95 Chile IGPA 20156.52 0.18 11.05 Argentina MerVal 15395.26 -0.48 31.86 Colombia IGBC 9898.01 -0.03 15.80 Venezuela IBC 12058.54 1.21 -17.34 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.2701 -0.37 20.70 Mexico peso 18.5180 -0.89 -6.96 Chile peso 651.6 -0.12 8.92 Colombia peso 2917.47 -0.17 8.63 Peru sol 3.277 0.06 4.18 Argentina peso (interbank) 14.8800 -0.87 -12.75 Argentina peso (parallel) 15.17 -0.40 -5.93 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
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