EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies down on strong U.S. data ahead of Yellen speech
By Bruno Federowski SAO PAULO, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies slipped on Tuesday following strong U.S. housing data, but caution prevailed ahead of Fed Chair Janet Yellen's speech on Friday. New U.S. single-family home sales unexpectedly reached a nearly nine-year high in July, offering additional support to growing expectations of a U.S. rate hike this year. Traders have been anxiously awaiting Yellen's remarks at the annual central bankers meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for clues over the timing of a rate increase. Recent comments by Fed policymakers have generally taken a hawkish tone, but minutes from its last policy meeting suggested officials remained divided over the issue. Mexico's peso weakened for the fifth straight day, and the Colombian peso fell about 1 percent, despite rising crude prices . Stock markets were mixed, however, as strength in the U.S. economy could also spell good news for companies from its Latin American trading partners. Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index rose 0.8 percent after posting its biggest daily loss since June the day before. Traders also awaited suspended President Dilma Rousseff's trial at the Senate, set to begin on Thursday. Lawmakers are widely expected to confirm her impeachment, but many traders expect that to be a trigger for further inflows into Brazil. Mexico's IPC stock index fell 0.6 percent despite a nearly 20 percent jump in shares of ICA as optimism over the beleaguered construction firm's prospects grew as it participates in major tenders. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1620 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % change change Latest MSCI Emerging Markets 904.53 0.03 13.86 MSCI LatAm 2452.40 0.01 34.01 Brazil Bovespa 58303.75 0.9 34.50 Mexico IPC 48024.66 -0.56 11.74 Chile IPSA 4172.83 0.32 13.39 Chile IGPA 20625.72 0.3 13.63 Argentina MerVal 15772.15 1.77 35.09 Colombia IGBC 9960.58 0.48 16.53 Venezuela IBC 11963.15 -1.29 -17.99 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.2185 -0.57 22.63 Mexico peso 18.3510 -0.28 -6.11 Chile peso 671.5 -0.45 5.69 Colombia peso 2916 -0.88 8.69 Peru sol 3.358 -0.24 1.67 Argentina peso (interbank) 14.8350 0.03 -12.49 Argentina peso (parallel) 15.44 0.13 -7.58 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
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