EMERGING MARKETS-Rouble briefly hits all-time lows; Latam currencies firm

viernes 14 de febrero de 2014 09:59 GYT

(Updates prices, adds Latin America, analyst quote, factbox)

By Asher Levine and Sujata Rao

RIO DE JANEIRO/LONDON Feb 14 (Reuters) - The Russian rouble stepped back from all-time lows on Friday after the central bank left interest rates on hold and hinted at tighter future policy, while Latin American currencies extended gains against the dollar.

The benchmark emerging equity index was on track for its second weekly gain in a row, helped by a rebound in Chinese shares.

The rouble briefly fell to a record low against the euro and the dollar-euro basket, before paring losses.

The Russian central bank held its key policy rate as expected, but warned that it may tighten policy if a weakening rouble causes inflation to deviate from its mid-term targets.

"After the central bank meeting the rouble is strengthening a bit but the market is reluctant to go long the rouble, we could see it stuck a bit," said Sebastien Barbe, head of emerging market strategy at Credit Agricole in Paris.

Central banks in emerging markets are under growing pressure to raise interest rates, to support their currencies and head off inflation caused by weaker exchange rates.