EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies gain on U.S. data; Petrobras advances
SAO PAULO, April 14 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies rebounded on Tuesday after weaker-than- xpected U.S. retail sales data hit the dollar, helping put an end to a three-day slump in the region's foreign exchange markets. Equities were broadly lower, though gains in Brazilian heavyweights Vale and Petrobras helped maintain the MSCI Latin American stock index in positive territory. Also hurting the dollar was a downward revision for U.S. economic growth announced on Tuesday by the International Monetary Fund. Weak U.S. data tends to push investors into riskier assets such as Latin American securities on bets that an extended period of low U.S. rates would support the search for higher returns in emerging markets. The Brazilian real recovered more than 1.4 percent, erasing the previous session's losses to trade near 3.07 per dollar. The currency was also helped by news that state-run oil firm Petrobras, formally known as Petroleo Brasileiro SA, is likely to release audited results later this month. Petrobras shares, which tend to attract a large portion of foreign investors looking for Brazil exposure, have been hammered in recent months by an ongoing corruption investigation. Releasing the long-delayed results is likely to ease concerns about the health of the company. Petrobras preferred shares were up 2 percent, while those of mining firm Vale SA gained nearly 4 percent on higher prices for iron-ore .IO62-CNI=SI, the company's main product. Still, the broader Bovespa stock index moved slightly lower, hit by a 5 percent drop in shares of beef producer JBS SA. Local paper Estado de S. Paulo reported on Tuesday that five years ago JBS had made payments to a company controlled by former Congressman Andre Vargas, who was jailed on Friday in a broadening corruption probe. JBS said in a Tuesday securities filing that the deal was entirely legal. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1700 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % change change Latest MSCI Emerging 1037.37 -0.39 8.9 Markets MSCI LatAm 2610.62 0.54 -4.8 Brazil Bovespa 54076.47 -0.3 8.14 Mexico IPC 45002.14 0.02 4.30 Chile IPSA 4014.1 -0.63 4.24 Chile IGPA 19505.61 -0.54 3.37 Argentina MerVal 11836.51 1.35 37.97 Colombia IGBC 10344.79 0.13 -11.09 Peru IGRA 12935.58 0.4 -12.56 Venezuela IBC 5542.88 0.7 43.64 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.0791 1.43 -13.69 Mexico peso 15.24 0.90 -3.25 Chile peso 614.3 0.24 -1.29 Colombia peso 2557.49 0.02 -6.63 Peru sol 3.118 0.13 -4.46 Argentina peso 8.8575 0.00 -3.47 (interbank) Argentina peso 12.37 0.40 13.18 (parallel) (Reporting by Asher Levine Editing by W Simon)
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