EMERGING MARKETS-Most Latam stocks down ahead of Yellen speech as commodities drop
By Bruno Federowski SAO PAULO, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Most Latin American stock markets tracked prices of commodities lower on Wednesday as traders remained on the sidelines ahead of U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's speech on Friday. Major regional exports including crude, iron ore and copper slumped on concerns over weak demand, while fresh signs of global oversupply weighed on oil markets. Crude-heavy Mexico's IPC stock index slipped 0.1 percent while the peso slightly rebounded from the previous day's losses. Both assets had tumbled to two-week lows on Tuesday after Standard & Poor's lowered its outlook for the Mexican debt rating to negative from stable. Lower oil prices also pressured shares in Brazil's state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA as the country's benchmark Bovespa stock index slipped 0.2 percent. Stocks in Cesp Cia Energética de São Paulo SA, however, soared after a government body overseeing privatizations recommended that controlling shareholder São Paulo state sell a controlling stake in the utility. Trading volumes were thin as investors avoided big bets ahead of Yellen's remarks. Investors will scrutinize her speech for hints over the timing of a U.S. rate hike after comments by senior Fed policymakers revived expectations that this could happen this year. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1600 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % change change Latest MSCI Emerging Markets 897.10 -1.04 14.15 MSCI LatAm 2424.17 -1.06 33.9 Brazil Bovespa 57970.21 -0.09 33.73 Mexico IPC 47604.38 -0.13 10.77 Chile IPSA 4157.53 -0.35 12.97 Chile IGPA 20573.14 -0.25 13.34 Argentina MerVal 15873.49 0.25 35.96 Colombia IGBC 10059.64 0.62 17.69 Venezuela IBC 11995.63 0.27 -17.77 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.2338 -0.06 22.05 Mexico peso 18.4950 0.39 -6.84 Chile peso 671.2 0.00 5.74 Colombia peso 2943.82 -0.87 7.66 Peru sol 3.352 0.27 1.85 Argentina peso (interbank) 14.8800 -0.27 -12.75 Argentina peso (parallel) 15.47 0.19 -7.76 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Frances Kerry)
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