EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil real, Mexico peso jump on U.S. data
(New throughout, updates prices and market activity, changes second byline, adds second dateline) By Bruno Federowski and Miguel Angel Gutierrez SAO PAULO/MEXICO CITY, July 29 (Reuters) - The Brazilian real strengthened on Friday, closing 1.63 percent higher against the dollar as the country's central bank refrained from intervening to curtail a rally triggered by lower expectations of U.S. rate increases this year. Brazil's central bank abstained from acting to weaken the currency despite doing so almost daily in July. Also boosted by the U.S. data, the Mexico peso gained 0.69 percent to close at 18.76 pesos per dollar. The U.S. economy grew far less than expected in the second quarter, leading many investors to roll back bets on a near-term rate hike by the Federal Reserve. Keeping U.S. rates lower for longer would maintain the allure of high-yielding emerging market assets, lifting currencies from Latin America. Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index was up more than 1 percent on Friday, driven by shares in Petrobras, which rose after the state-controlled oil company sold off a $2.5 billion stake in an offshore exploration license. The sale is the first in a $15 billion divestment program as Petrobras seeks to cut debt and revive investor confidence amid a sweeping graft scandal. In Mexico, the stock index fell 0.37 percent, affected by a drop in shares of telecoms company America Movil, which posted a 45 percent slump in second-quarter profit on Thursday evening. America Movil's share price hit its lowest in over seven years during the session. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2059 GMT: Stock indexes Latest Daily YTD pct pct change change MSCI Emerging Markets 873.47 -0.23 9.99 MSCI LatAm 2,391.35 1.6 30.69 Brazil Bovespa 57,308.21 1.13 32.20 Mexico IPC 46,660.67 -0.37 8.57 Chile IPSA 4,117.47 -0.53 11.88 Chile IGPA 20,368.48 -0.44 12.21 Argentina MerVal 15,803.50 2.25 35.36 Colombia IGBC 9,662.30 -0.6 13.04 Venezuela IBC 12,965.94 4.64 -11.12 Currencies Daily YTD pct pct change Latest change Brazil real 3.2423 1.63 21.73 Mexico peso 18.7600 0.69 -8.16 Chile peso 655.5 1.22 8.27 Colombia peso 3,066.93 0.69 3.34 Peru sol 3.351 0.00 1.88 Argentina peso (interbank) 15.0000 0.28 -13.45 Argentina peso (parallel) 15.42 0.65 -7.46 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski and Paula Arend Laier in Sao Paulo and Miguel Angel Gutierrez in Mexico City; Editing by David Gregorio)
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