EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil's real swings on finance minister bets
SAO PAULO, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Brazil's currency whipsawed on Monday, erasing early losses amid market chatter over potential nominees for finance minister in President Dilma Rousseff's second term. Brazil's Bovespa stock index also fluctuated, while Mexico's financial markets were closed for a holiday. The Brazilian real started the day about 0.5 percent weaker, contributing to a roughly 5 percent decline this month. In addition to a stronger dollar, investors have been cautious about Brazilian assets as they remain in the dark about Rousseff's choice for finance minister in her second term. "The markets have not been comfortable with the waiting game on the cabinet reshuffle," wrote Siobhan Morden, head of Latin America strategy at Jefferies in New York. "It is still an ongoing debate whether Rousseff adopts moderate policy reversal to prioritize fiscal discipline necessary to anchor inflation, restore market confidence and encourage investment for higher trend growth." Traders cited market speculation as the reason for the real's move higher in the afternoon. Many recent swings in the currency have been attributed to market chatter over the finance minister nomination, which could signal Rousseff's approach to the economy over the next four years. In addition, investors were watching a developing corruption investigation at state-run oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA , known as Petrobras. "(The Petrobras issue) hurts the country's political credibility and leaves investors more cautious about putting their money here," said a local trader who asked not to be identified because he is not authorized to speak with the press. The Bovespa index moved from slightly positive to slightly negative in the afternoon. Preferred shares of Petrobras dropped just under 2 percent, offsetting a 3.3 percent rise in shares of state-run lender Banco do Brasil SA. Elsewhere in Latin America, Chile's peso weakened about 0.25 percent on lower prices for copper, the country's main export. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1519 GMT: Latin American market prices from Reuters Stock indexes daily % YTD % change change Latest MSCI Emerging Markets 985,9 -0,5 -1,18 MSCI LatAm 2919,1 -0,05 -8,75 Brazil Bovespa 51616,3 -0,3 0,21 Mexico IPC 43372,01 -0,85 1,51 Chile IPSA 3925,96 0,16 6,13 Chile IGPA 19130,63 0,11 4,96 Argentina MerVal 9730,649 -0,19 80,50 Colombia IGBC 12932,53 -0,24 -1,06 Peru IGRA 15181,07 -0,65 -3,63 Venezuela IBC 2921,34 0,37 6,75 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 2,5950 0,11 -9,18 Mexico peso 13,5775 -0,34 -4,03 Chile peso 595 -0,03 -11,58 Colombia peso 2164 -0,28 -10,72 Peru sol 2,93 0,03 -4,68 Argentina peso (interbank) 8,5100 0,03 -23,71 Argentina peso (parallel) 13,15 1,75 -23,95 (Reporting by Asher Levine and Bruno Federowski; Editing by Dan Grebler)
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