EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies slide on China, oil; Mexico peso at record low

viernes 15 de enero de 2016 10:41 GYT

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
 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
 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)