EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies up as Yellen offers few hints of imminent hike
SAO PAULO, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Most Latin American currencies strengthened on Friday after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen refrained from hinting at a September rate hike in her widely anticipated speech at the Jackson Hole meeting of global central bankers. Yellen did not indicate when the U.S. central bank might increase rates but said the case for a rise has strengthened in recent months. Before the speech, many traders feared a stronger sign of an imminent rate hike. New York Fed President William Dudley had said last week a September increase was "possible". "What is new is that apparently Yellen is closer to those who want to hike by the end of the year than to those who want to hike now," B&T brokerage trader Marcos Trabbold said. Keeping U.S. rates low for longer would benefit emerging markets, which often attract foreign investors with high yields. Most stock markets also rose, with Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index leading the gains. Shares of Petróleo Brasileiro SA advanced after Credit Suisse analysts raised their recommendation for U.S. listed stocks of Petrobras, as the of state-controlled oil company is known, to neutral from underperform. But Mexico's IPC stock index slipped 0.2 percent, with shares of ICA slumping 12 percent after rising sharpy for the four previous sessions. The construction company reported on Thursday a much wider loss in the second quarter compared with the year-earlier period, as revenue was nearly halved and financial costs rose. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1550 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 902.16 0.45 13.09 MSCI LatAm 2455.90 1.3 32.49 Brazil Bovespa 58343.18 1.08 34.59 Mexico IPC 47605.55 -0.27 10.77 Chile IPSA 4142.67 -0.25 12.57 Chile IGPA 20535.39 -0.2 13.13 Argentina MerVal 15983.55 0.52 36.90 Colombia IGBC 10118.90 0.28 18.39 Venezuela IBC 11975.02 0 -17.91 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.2075 0.72 23.06 Mexico peso 18.2955 0.39 -5.82 Chile peso 664.2 -0.18 6.85 Colombia peso 2880.32 0.42 10.03 Peru sol 3.34 0.24 2.22 Argentina peso (interbank) 14.9375 -0.32 -13.09 Argentina peso (parallel) 15.43 0.39 -7.52 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by XX)
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