EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil's real approaches 2.50/dlr on poll talk; Argentina tumbles

jueves 2 de octubre de 2014 13:37 GYT

By Asher Levine
    SAO PAULO, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Brazil's currency came within a
hair's breadth of touching the closely watched 2.50-per-dollar
level on Thursday amid speculation over upcoming electoral
polls, while Argentine markets plunged on the nomination of a
new central bank chief. 
    The broader MSCI Latin American stock index 
fell for the fourth straight day, although most of the region's
currencies traded slightly stronger against the dollar.
    Brazil's real spent most of the morning in positive
territory but began to sink as talk spread that two voter polls
due later on Thursday would show President Dilma Rousseff
extending her lead ahead of Sunday's election. The real tends to
weaken when polls show Rousseff gaining, as many investors
believe a more market-friendly administration could help boost
demand for Brazilian assets.
    The real fell as low as 2.4975 to the dollar, its weakest
level since December 2008, before backing off slightly. 
    "This is the new norm," said Paulo Petrassi, an economist
with Leme Investimentos in Florianopolis, Brazil. "2.50 is a
psychological barrier, but we will break it if Rousseff keeps
gaining. Once we're past that, it's just going higher."
    Other currencies in the region, including the Mexican,
Chilean and Colombian pesos  , strengthened
    Argentina's black-market peso weakened, however,
while the country's stocks and bonds fell sharply. 
    Investors were reacting to the nomination of Alejandro
Vanoli as the new governor of Argentina's central bank, with
many wary over potential shifts in policy.
    Vanoli is seen as sympathetic to government intervention in
Argentina's ailing economy, such as implementing deeper currency
and trade controls. 
    In equities markets, Brazil's Bovespa index edged
higher on bargain-hunting following a 7.6 percent decline over
the previous three days.
    Mexican and Chilean equities indexes  both
tracked global stock markets lower after European Central Bank
President Mario Draghi failed to outline a specific stimulus
program for the euro zone's flagging recovery.
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1705 GMT:
 Stock indexes                        daily %    YTD %
                             Latest    change   change
 MSCI Emerging Markets        991.21    -0.57    -0.58
 MSCI LatAm                  3083.75    -0.53    -3.14
 Brazil Bovespa             53085.38     0.43     3.06
 Mexico IPC                 44041.87    -0.73     3.08
 Chile IPSA                  3840.55    -1.07     3.82
 Chile IGPA                 18810.41    -0.98     3.20
 Argentina MerVal          10450.729    -9.25    93.85
 Colombia IGBC              13308.28    -0.89     1.81
 Peru IGRA                  15858.72    -0.67     0.67
 Venezuela IBC               2883.18    -0.84     5.36
 Currencies                           daily %    YTD %
                                       change   change
 Brazil real                  2.4832     0.04    -5.09
 Mexico peso                 13.3955     0.43    -2.73
 Chile peso                    596.8     0.23   -11.85
 Colombia peso               2019.19     0.37    -4.32
 Peru sol                      2.897    -0.14    -3.59
 Argentina peso               8.4500     0.03   -23.17
 Argentina peso                15.55     0.58   -35.69
 (Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)