EMERGING MARKETS-Most Latam currencies weaken on oil drop, China worries
By Bruno Federowski SAO PAULO, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Most Latin American currencies fell on Monday as weak Chinese economic data and a new drop in oil prices weighed on demand for riskier assets. Manufacturing activity in China, the world's top consumer of commodities, shrank at the fastest pace in almost three-and-a-half years in January. Expectations of lower demand for oil, coupled with fading prospects of major producers striking a deal to cut output, drove crude prices down. The Mexican peso weakened 1.1 percent in thin trading volumes as local markets were closed for a holiday, while the Colombian peso retreated 1.3 percent. Both countries are major oil exporters. The Colombian central bank raised its benchmark lending rate a quarter point on Friday, as expected, as the recent slump in the country's currency lifted inflation expectations. The Brazilian real strengthened 0.4 percent after the country's central bank signaled it would fully roll over the currency swaps maturing in March, as it has been doing over the last few months. Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1440 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % change change Latest MSCI Emerging Markets 739.73 -0.36 -6.52 MSCI LatAm 1726.01 -1.03 -4.69 Brazil Bovespa 39918.98 -1.21 -7.91 Chile IPSA 3665.58 -1.09 -0.40 Chile IGPA 18072.67 -0.94 -0.43 Argentina MerVal 11181.20 -1.1 -4.23 Colombia IGBC 8567.82 -0.33 0.24 Venezuela IBC 14092.39 -0.06 -3.40 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 4.0076 0.35 -1.51 Mexico peso 18.3175 -1.13 -5.94 Chile peso 713.9 -0.31 -0.59 Colombia peso 3320.72 -1.26 -4.56 Peru sol 3.4801 -0.23 -1.90 Argentina peso (interbank) 14.0300 -0.43 -7.47 Argentina peso (parallel) 14.25 0.14 0.14 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski Editing by W Simon)
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