EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies near flat as oil slumps, yuan rises

lunes 18 de enero de 2016 19:14 GYT

(Adds closing prices)
    By Bruno Federowski
    SAO PAULO, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies were
largely steady on Monday as oil prices dropped to their lowest
level since 2003, offsetting a rise in the Chinese yuan.
    Crude prices tumbled as the lifting of sanctions against
Iran boosted expectations of more oil supply on the world
market, dragging other commodities lower as well.
    Demand for high-yielding assets has also been hit by
concerns over economic weakness in China, the world's top
consumer of basic goods. 
    Measures announced by the Chinese central bank to contain
speculation on the yuan helped calm investors, lifting the
country's currency and shares. 
    Trading volumes were thin in most Latin American markets due
to a U.S. holiday.
    "Foreign factors have been the main driver of currency
movements this year, so markets deplete when there is a U.S.
holiday," said Paulo Celso Nepomuceno, a strategist at
Coinvalores brokerage in São Paulo.
    The Brazilian real fell 0.29 percent against the
dollar to 4.0342 reals per dollar.The Mexican peso rose
0.38 percent after posting its steepest loss in nearly two and a
half years on Friday. 
    The country's Bovespa stock index fell 1.64 percent
to its lowest level since 2009, after shares in oil producer
Petrobras tumbled 7.16 percent as traders fretted
over cuts in the state-controlled oil company's investment
    Petrobras, as the company is known, has been kept out of
most capital markets by a corruption scandal. Brazilian
President Dilma Rousseff said on Friday that she would not rule
out the possibility that the government may have to pump more
cash into the company. 
    Mexico's IPC stock index fell 0.59 percent, tracking
oil prices lower. 
    Retailer Walmex said on Monday it has begun the process to
sell clothing retail chain Suburbia, as part of its efforts to
focus on its core business. 
    Shares in the company ended the day down 1.56 percent at
43.59 pesos ($2.39) per share. 
    Latin American stock indexes and currencies:
 Stock indexes                       daily %    YTD %
                            Latest    change   change
 MSCI Emerging Markets       703.41    -0.82   -11.42
 MSCI LatAm                 1608.87    -1.04   -12.07
 Brazil Bovespa            37937.27    -1.64   -12.49
 Mexico IPC                40604.79    -0.59    -5.52
 Chile IPSA                 3474.04    -0.35    -5.60
 Chile IGPA                17245.45     -0.3    -4.99
 Argentina MerVal           9757.12    -2.62   -16.43
 Colombia IGBC              7849.51    -2.39    -8.16
 Venezuela IBC             13593.96    -6.23    -6.82
 Currencies                          daily %    YTD %
                                      change   change
 Brazil real                 4.0342    -0.29    -1.82
 Mexico peso                18.2005     0.38     -5.6
    ($1 = 18.2135 pesos)

 (Editing by Nick Zieminski and Meredith Mazzilli)