EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies slide on China, oil; Mexico peso at record low
By Bruno Federowski SAO PAULO, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies sold off on Friday as weakness in Chinese shares and a tumble in oil prices reignited global risk aversion, driving the Mexican peso to a new historic low. A round of tepid Chinese credit data triggered a slump in the country's bourses, with the Shanghai index closing at its lowest since December 2014. The move took its toll on commodity prices as traders anticipated lower demand. Oil prices fell to their lowest levels in 12 years, also pressured by bets of higher supply due to a possible easing of international sanctions on Iran. The Mexican peso hit an all-time low of 18.1812 per dollar, while the Colombian peso slumped 1.9 percent. The Brazilian real weakened 1.4 percent, hit by concerns of looser fiscal policy after President Dilma Rousseff said that expanding credit at state banks does not contradict current tight monetary policy. Rousseff's government is struggling to bring down high inflation despite a deepening economic recession. The Peruvian sol retreated only 0.3 percent after the country's central bank raised benchmark rates by 0.25 percentage points, to 4.00 percent. The decision came in line with market estimates, though a sizeable minority of analysts expected rates to be kept stable. "The central bank's hawkish bias remains in place and we expect persistently high inflation to prompt the central bank to keep normalizing monetary policy in 1H16," J.P.Morgan analysts wrote in a client note. The Chilean central bank held its benchmark rate at 3.5 percent on Thursday, as expected. Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1425 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % change change Latest MSCI Emerging Markets 710.69 -1.72 -8.94 MSCI LatAm 1638.85 -2.5 -8.14 Brazil Bovespa 38390.33 -2.81 -11.44 Chile IPSA 3524.27 -0.65 -4.24 Chile IGPA 17462.02 -0.56 -3.80 Venezuela IBC 14493.76 -0.48 275.61 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 4.0529 -1.42 -34.43 Mexico peso 18.1198 -1.38 -18.63 Chile peso 730.1 -0.70 -16.94 Colombia peso 3286.95 -1.88 -27.35 Peru sol 3.4321 -0.29 -13.20 Argentina peso (interbank) 13.5500 -2.14 -36.90 Argentina peso (parallel) 14.36 0.28 -2.51 (Editing by Nick Zieminski)
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