EMERGING MARKETS-Mexico shares hit high but U.S. rates hike fears hurt peso
(Updates with latest prices and market moves) By Bruno Federowski SAO PAULO, July 20 (Reuters) - Mexico's stock market rallied for a fifth straight day on Wednesday, but its peso currency weakened on concerns over higher U.S. interest rates. Worries that the U.S. Federal Reserve could raise rates as soon as September after a muted market reaction to Britain's decision to leave the European Union weighed on the Mexican peso. But many traders would see higher Fed rates as evidence of strength in the world's biggest economy, spelling good news for Mexican companies since the country mainly exports to the United States. "Stock markets are brushing over the (Mexican) peso's underperformance this year as signs that the U.S. economy is on track to gain momentum," a trader focused on Latin America said in New York. The Mexican benchmark stock index rose 0.94 percent, mostly helped by shares in billionaire Carlos Slim's America Movil, which rose 1.97 percent and Grupo Financiero Banorte which rose more than 2 percent. The Mexican peso fell 0.98 percent relative to Tuesday's reference price, to 18.68 pesos to the dollar. Brazil's benchmark Bovespa fell as much 0.8 percent on profit-taking following 10 straight daily gains, but later pared losses to about 0.21 percent. Stock indices in Chile and Colombia also fell. Key Latin American stock indexes at 2130 GMT: Stock indexes Latest Daily YTD pct pct change change MSCI Emerging Markets 870.76 0.3 9.65 MSCI LatAm 2,399.78 0.77 31.15 Brazil Bovespa 56,578.05 -0.21 30.51 Mexico IPC 47,505.25 0.94 10.54 Chile IPSA 4,108.70 -0.75 11.64 Chile IGPA 20,273.27 -0.63 11.69 Argentina MerVal 15,931.79 0.62 36.46 Colombia IGBC 9,930.33 -0.18 16.18 Venezuela IBC 12,497.78 1.91 -14.33 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by W Simon and Diane Craft)
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