EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks flat, currencies slip on lack of ECB stimulus hints
(Updates with final prices) SAO PAULO, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks were broadly flat and most currencies retreated on Thursday after the European Central Bank refrained from offering any clear hint of additional stimulus. ECB President Mario Draghi said the bank will study policy options to ensure it can pursue its unprecedented money-printing program but did not signal any expansion of its asset purchases. His comments triggered sales of emerging market assets, which tend to benefit from looser policy in developed economies. Mexico's peso was by far the biggest loser in the region as traders waited for the release of the country's 2017 budget plan, which new Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade said would be in line with market expectations. Rising oil prices on Thursday did little to soften the peso's underperformance, which has puzzled many traders this year. Some analysts blame the peso's status as a highly liquid currency, which leads traders to use the peso to hedge their exposure to the rest of Latin America. Others point to the possibility that if Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election he could make good on promises to curtail Mexico-U.S. trade flows. Most stock markets were either slightly lower or nearly flat, with Brazilian steelmakers Gerdau SA rising after a drop in Chinese steel exports. Shares of Brasil Pharma SA jumped 20 percent after Reuters reported Brazil's third-biggest drugstore chain is close to selling two units for about 1.2 bln reais. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2130 GMT: Stock indexes Latest Daily YTD pct pct change change MSCI Emerging Markets 927.29 0.13 16.77 MSCI LatAm 2,504.59 0.04 36.88 Brazil Bovespa 60,231.65 0.17 38.94 Mexico IPC 47,416.97 0.04 10.33 Chile IPSA 4,106.14 -0.21 11.57 Chile IGPA 20,405.94 -0.16 12.42 Argentina MerVal 16,457.90 0.87 40.96 Colombia IGBC 10,458.54 0.1 22.36 Venezuela IBC 11,986.27 -4.04 -17.84 Currencies Latest Daily YTD pct pct change change Brazil real 3.2104 -0.07 22.94 Mexico peso 18.68 -1.66 -7.76 Chile peso 664.0 -0.38 6.88 Colombia peso 2,845 0.64 11.40 Peru sol 3.365 -0.09 1.46 Argentina peso (interbank) 15.065 -0.10 -13.82 Argentina peso (parallel) 15.23 0.13 -6.30 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; editing by Grant McCool)
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