EMERGING MARKETS-Scandal-hit Petrobras drags down Brazil bourse; real slides further

viernes 14 de noviembre de 2014 12:25 GYT
 

RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Brazil's state-run oil
firm Petrobras dragged down the Brazilian bourse and added
pressure on the real on Friday after it said it would delay the
release of its quarterly results to allow more time to
investigate corruption allegations.
    A scandal involving Petrobras escalated as Brazil's federal
police said it was investigating contracts worth billions of
reais between the oil company and seven of its service
providers. Dozens of company executives were arrested this
morning, including a former director with the oil firm.
 
    Petrobras' headlines further dampened market sentiment,
which has already been depressed by uncertainty over Brazil's
economic policies during the second term of newly re-elected
president Dilma Rousseff.
    Seeking shelter, many investors have been buying dollars. In
a fourth straight session of losses, the Brazilian real 
slid 1.36 percent to a session low of 2.6289 per dollar, its
weakest since April 2005.
    It later trimmed losses to 2.6084 reais, a 0.6 percent drop
on the day, after the central bank said it would increase as of
Monday the rollover pace of currency swaps that expire early in
December. Those swaps are derivative contracts that provide
investors with protection against currency losses.
 
    "The real is poised to weaken in the long run, but the
nomination of a market-friendly finance minister could bring
some short-term relief," said Renato Magliari, a trader with
WinTrade brokerage in Brazil.
    The real is on track to post a 1.6 percent loss for the week
against the dollar.  
    Investors are particularly anxious about who Rousseff will
pick to replace Finance Minister Guido Mantega, as that would be
key indication of whether she will allow substantial adjustments
in economic policy over the next few years.
    Shares of Petrobras, or Petroleo Brasileiro SA,
plunged 4.7 percent, weighing the most on the Brazilian bourse.
They started trading more than one hour after the Brazilian
stock market opened.
    Brazil's benchmark Bovespa index over 1 percent,
erasing all of its 2014 gains. Banking shares also fell.
    While most Latin American stock indexes and currencies were
in the red, the Mexican peso gained 0.6 percent after the
central bank expressed concern about the impact of a weak
currency on inflation. 

    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1550 GMT:
    
 Stock indexes                  daily %    YTD %
                                 change   change
                     Latest              
 MSCI Emerging          989.27    -0.35    -0.99
 Markets                                 
 MSCI LatAm            2904.36    -1.53    -7.85
                                         
 Brazil Bovespa       51176.48    -1.29    -0.64
                                         
 Mexico IPC           43351.06     -0.9     1.46
                                         
 Chile IPSA            3922.92    -0.23     6.05
                                         
 Chile IGPA            19122.3    -0.17     4.91
                                         
 Argentina MerVal      9752.52    -1.68    80.90
                                         
 Colombia IGBC        12926.94    -0.28    -1.10
                                         
 Peru IGRA            15342.96    -0.39    -2.61
                                         
 Venezuela IBC         2910.61     2.08     6.36
                                         
                                                
 Currencies                     daily %    YTD %
                                 change   change
                        Latest           
 Brazil real            2.6049    -0.46    -9.52
                                         
 Mexico peso            13.528     0.58    -3.68
                                         
 Chile peso              594.1    -0.03   -11.45
                                         
 Colombia peso          2157.7    -0.51   -10.46
                                         
 Peru sol                2.934    -0.14    -4.81
                                         
 Argentina peso         8.5100     0.00   -23.71
 (interbank)                             
                                         
 Argentina peso          12.85     4.28   -22.18
 (parallel)                              
                                         
 
    

 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski and Walter Brandimarte)