EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies mostly weaker on U.S. jobs data
SAO PAULO, July 2 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies mostly weakened on Wednesday after better-than-expected job market data from the United States boosted the dollar. Most equities markets in the region posted modest gains, though a decline in bank and retailing shares kept Brazil's Bovespa stock index stuck in slightly negative territory. Data on Wednesday showed private employers in the United States added workers at the fastest pace in 1-1/2 years in June, leading traders to step up bets that a healthier economy could lead U.S. interest rates higher. The currencies of Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru are all expected to soften over the next three to six months on an expected pick up in U.S. growth and inflation, a Reuters poll showed. Losses in Brazil's real were amplified by the central bank's decision late Tuesday to begin rolling over some, but not all, currency swaps that expire early in August. By offering fewer contracts than it did last month, the bank is signaling it wants to stop the real from gaining much further, traders said. Colombia's peso extended recent gains after breaking through the 1,880 per dollar technical resistance level on Tuesday, while the Chilean peso rose alongside higher prices for copper, the country's main export. Mexico's IPC stock index and Chile's IPSA stock index both rose less than half a percent. Brazil's Bovespa moved slightly lower on thin trading volume after remaining rangebound near 53,170 points for the last two sessions. Shares of lender Itau Unibanco Holding SA contributed most to the index's decline after the company said on Wednesday that it had entered into exclusive talks with a potential purchaser of its high-risk corporate insurance unit. The deal is expected to bring in about 1.5 billion reais ($678.7 million). Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1632 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 1059.78 0.8 4.86 MSCI LatAm 3363.54 -0.39 5.49 Brazil Bovespa 52963.44 -0.39 2.83 Mexico IPC 43048.49 0.41 0.75 Chile IPSA 3880.7 0.25 4.91 Chile IGPA 18912.64 0.2 3.76 Argentina MerVal 8152.37 1.14 51.22 Colombia IGBC 14114.3 -0.07 7.98 Peru IGRA 16704.28 -0.09 6.03 Venezuela IBC 2105.63 -0.02 -23.06 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 2.2155 -0.56 6.38 Mexico peso 12.9642 -0.18 0.51 Chile peso 551.5 0.16 -4.61 Colombia peso 1857.19 0.17 4.03 Peru sol 2.795 0.04 -0.07 Argentina peso (interbank) 8.1375 -0.03 -20.22 Argentina peso (parallel) 12 1.25 -16.67 (Reporting by Priscila Jordao and Bruno Federowski, Writing by Asher Levine; editing by Andrew Hay)
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