EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies up on commodities rebound, U.S. data; stocks fall
By Bruno Federowski SAO PAULO, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Most Latin American currencies strengthened on Tuesday as prices of commodities rebounded and weak inflation data boosted hopes that U.S. rates will take longer to rise. But stock markets in the region fell, weighed down by declines in Wall Street as well as another batch of corporate updates. Prices of key Latin American exports such as iron ore, copper and oil rose on Tuesday, with crude jumping as much as 2 percent in the day. Also fostering demand for high-yielding assets was a soft reading for a key inflation gauge in June, which added to concerns stemming from tepid U.S. growth data published on Friday. Traders bet the data boosted the case for keeping U.S. rates low for longer. That could benefit currencies from emerging markets, which often lure investors away from developed economies with higher financial returns. The Mexican peso bucked the bullish trend as traders worried that economic weakness in the U.S., its main trading partner, could translate into lower demand for its products. Most stock markets in the region were also lower as U.S. stocks dropped sharply. Brazil's Bovespa stock index fell 1.3 percent, pressured by shares of Cielo SA. Brazil's No. 1 credit card processor posted a slightly higher-than-expected profit in the second quarter, but expenses weighed on its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA. Losses were limited by a rise in shares of Itaú Unibanco SA as traders cheered its efforts to curb expanses and reclassify loans. The bank handily beat second-quarter profit estimates and only slightly raised loan-loss provision estimates. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1505 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 876.55 -0.68 11.13 MSCI LatAm 2342.25 -0.9 29.17 Brazil Bovespa 55989.89 -1.35 29.16 Mexico IPC 46498.42 -0.66 8.19 Chile IPSA 4093.67 -0.6 11.23 Chile IGPA 20255.02 -0.51 11.59 Argentina MerVal 15378.47 -0.41 31.72 Colombia IGBC 9599.74 -0.25 12.31 Venezuela IBC 12495.80 -0.35 -14.34 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.2552 0.44 21.25 Mexico peso 18.8930 -0.06 -8.80 Chile peso 654.7 0.43 8.40 Colombia peso 3076.02 0.42 3.03 Peru sol 3.345 -0.24 2.06 Argentina peso (interbank) 14.8400 0.67 -12.52 Argentina peso (parallel) 15.4 0.58 -7.34 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Additional reporting by Paula Arend Laier; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)
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