EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies, stocks down ahead of Fed policy minutes
By Bruno Federowski SAO PAULO, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies and stocks fell on Wednesday after comments by a Federal Reserve policymaker fostered bets that the minutes of the Fed's last meeting will strike a hawkish tone. Many investors had believed the Fed would refrain from hiking rates this year as it waits for more evidence about the impact on the U.S. economy of Britain's June 23 vote to leave the European Union. But those expectations took a beating on Tuesday after New York Fed President William Dudley said an increase as soon as next month could be in the cards. Higher U.S. interest rates could drain funds away from emerging markets, which often lure foreign investors with greater yields. "NY Fed President Dudley's comments from Tuesday have maintained a bias toward normalization and have helped provide support to the broader U.S. dollar," Scotiabank analysts wrote in a client note. Investors will parse the minutes from the Fed's last policy meeting, due at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT), for hints on the central bank's strategy. On the Sao Paulo stock exchange, shares of electrical utility companies mostly fell after the government suspended on Tuesday an auction to sell state-controlled Centrais Elétricas de Goiás SA. Potential bidders failed to present some requirements by a deadline, signaling feeble interest for the ailing power distributor. Companhia Energética de Minas Gerais, which plans asset sales, led the losses, falling more than 5 percent, outpacing the 1.2 percent decline in the benchmark Bovespa stock index. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1535 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 906.22 -1.02 15.29 MSCI LatAm 2460.54 -2 37.21 Brazil Bovespa 58156.02 -1.20 34.15 Mexico IPC 48222.03 -0.27 12.20 Chile IPSA 4137.94 -0.78 12.44 Chile IGPA 20487.75 -0.62 12.87 Argentina MerVal 15273.85 0.28 30.82 Colombia IGBC 9893.57 0.29 15.75 Venezuela IBC 12113.74 -1.29 -16.96 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.2235 -0.95 22.44 Mexico peso 18.2350 -0.98 -5.51 Chile peso 658.2 -1.03 7.82 Colombia peso 2915.5 -0.46 8.70 Peru sol 3.315 -0.24 2.99 Argentina peso (interbank) 14.6875 -0.10 -11.61 Argentina peso (parallel) 15.36 0.07 -7.10 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by W Simon)
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