EMERGING MARKETS-Latam markets mixed as focus turns to local politics

martes 31 de marzo de 2015 13:27 GYT

SAO PAULO, March 31 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies
and stocks were mixed on Tuesday as investors digested local
political developments, while lower oil prices weighed on
markets in Colombia and Mexico.
    In Brazil, attention was focused on comments made by Finance
Minister Joaquim Levy at a Senate hearing on Tuesday. Levy
warned lawmakers that the country's investment grade remains at
risk should a fiscal adjustment program fail to deliver better
budget numbers. He also said Brazil was ready to raise taxes if
    The Brazilian real strengthened for the second
straight session as investors took some comfort in Levy's
comments, said Reginaldo Galhardo, head of currency trading at
Brazil's Treviso brokerage.
    In general, any steps to curb the budget deficit and ward
off a credit downgrade is viewed as positive by the business
    Politics were also center stage in Peru, where the Nuevo Sol
 fell through the psychological barrier of 3.1 per dollar
after Congress voted to censure the prime minister, setting in
motion her resignation. 
    Colombia's peso weakened for the fourth session in
five, tracking a drop in oil prices. Petroleum is Colombia's top
    Fellow petroleum producer Mexico also saw a decline in its
peso, which slid for the sixth straight session.
    Mexico's central bank sold $52 million on Tuesday at an
average price of 15.2470 pesos per dollar, part of an auction
program to boost foreign exchange liquidity following the recent
slide in the currency.
    In equities markets, Brazil's Bovespa stock index 
edged higher, led by banking shares, while Mexico's IPC index
 pared back part of Monday's gains.
    A Reuters poll released on Tuesday showed investors remained
cautiously optimistic on the outlook for both indexes, with the
Bovespa expected to hit 53,200 points by year-end and the IPC
forecast to reach 47,187 points. 

    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1709 GMT:
 Stock indexes                           daily %     YTD %
                             Latest       change    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets          974.94      0.62      1.32
 MSCI LatAm                    2451.61      0.83    -10.86
 Brazil Bovespa               51379.53      0.27      2.74
 Mexico IPC                    43785.3     -0.31      1.48
 Chile IPSA                     3910.7     -0.05      1.55
 Chile IGPA                   19066.85     -0.04      1.04
 Argentina MerVal            11004.689      0.44     28.27
 Colombia IGBC                 9984.79      0.59    -14.18
 Peru IGRA                    12420.68      0.03    -16.04
 Venezuela IBC                 5165.43      4.41     33.86
 Currencies                              daily %     YTD %
                                          change    change
 Brazil real                    3.2016      0.92    -16.99
 Mexico peso                    15.268     -0.05     -3.43
 Chile peso                      625.2      0.25     -3.01
 Colombia peso                    2598     -0.89     -8.08
 Peru sol                        3.096     -0.03     -3.78
 Argentina peso                 8.8200     -0.03     -3.06
 Argentina peso                  12.57      1.67     11.38

 (Reporting by Flavia Bohone and Asher Levine Editing by W