EMERGING MARKETS-Latam markets rally on expectations of stable U.S. rates

jueves 4 de febrero de 2016 17:42 GYT

(Adds stock markets, updates with closing prices)
    By Bruno Federowski
    SAO PAULO, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies and
stocks rallied on Thursday on bets that the U.S. Federal Reserve
could take longer than anticipated to raise interest rates amid
global financial turmoil.
    Mexico's IPC stock index rose 1.1 percent to its
highest level since late December, while Brazil's Bovespa
 closed up 3.1 percent, its best showing in more than
three weeks.
    Weaker-than-expected U.S. economic data and comments by
central bank officials have led some to believe the U.S. central
bank could wait until next year to further tighten policy,
driving demand for emerging market assets.
    Those expectations have led the dollar to weaken against
major currencies, reducing the prices of dollar-denominated
commodities. Emerging market assets also benefit directly from
low U.S. rates, which make high-yielding bonds seem attractive
in comparison.
    "If financial turmoil drives the Fed to delay a rates
increase, this would turn out to be good for us," said Marcos
Trabbold, a trader at B&T brokerage in São Paulo.
    The Chilean peso jumped 1.8 percent, tracking a
rise in copper prices, while the Brazilian real briefly
strengthened to its highest since December to about 3.85 per
U.S. dollar, before closing the day up 0.6 percent.
    The Mexican peso fell 0.5 percent in a volatile session
after the central bank held borrowing costs steady on Thursday,
but said it was closely monitoring risks to inflation from a
slump in the currency. 
    Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2100 GMT:
 Stock indexes                             daily %     YTD %
                               Latest       change    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets            741.02      2.68     -9.13
 MSCI LatAm                      1778.56      3.55     -6.14
 Brazil Bovespa                 40821.74      3.11     -5.83
 Mexico IPC                     43751.93      1.14      1.80
 Chile IPSA                      3666.26      2.11     -0.38
 Chile IGPA                     18027.02      1.84     -0.69
 Argentina MerVal               11421.99       2.7     -2.17
 Colombia IGBC                   8671.33       0.7      1.45
 Venezuela IBC                  14669.95     -0.17      0.56
 Currencies                                daily %     YTD %
                                            change    change
 Brazil real                      3.8929      0.59      1.37
 Mexico peso                     18.2540     -0.45     -5.94
 Chile peso                        697.2      1.83      1.76
 Colombia peso                      3314      1.65     -4.57
 Peru sol                         3.4761      0.37     -1.82
 Argentina peso (interbank)      14.2300     -0.42     -9.61
 Argentina peso (parallel)         14.21      0.49      0.42
 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli,
Diane Craft)