EMERGING MARKETS-Mexico peso falls while Latam stocks rise after Fed
MEXICO CITY, Feb 10 (Reuters) - The Mexican peso hit a record low on a slump in oil prices on Wednesday while Latin American stock markets rose after the Federal Reserve chief said the United States would stick to its plan of "gradual" interest rate hikes. The comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen eased concerns about the U.S. economy, the world's largest, rallying stock markets from Chile to Mexico, for which the United States is the biggest export market. Chile's stock market climbed 0.7 percent, while Mexico's IPC stock index rallied as much as 1 percent before paring gains to close up 0.3 percent to 42,535.74 points. But in Mexico, the region's second-largest economy, the peso fell to a historic low of 18.9595 per dollar in a fifth straight day of losses, dragged down by volatile crude prices. U.S. crude fell as low as $27.39 a barrel as worries about a global supply glut overshadowed data showing a surprise drop in U.S. stockpiles. Analysts fret the sharp drop in crude prices since last June will dampen prospects of foreign direct investment in Mexico's newly opened oil fields. The peso has lost nearly 10 percent so far this year, prompting the central bank to intervene to limit volatility. Argentina and Brazil's stock indexes both slipped as investors sold off shares after a two-day market holiday. Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2100 GMT: Stock indexes Latest Daily YTD pct pct change change MSCI Emerging Markets 732.36 0.34 -8.09 MSCI LatAm 1,712.97 -0.36 -6.04 Brazil Bovespa 40,376.58 -0.53 -6.86 Mexico IPC 42,535.74 0.32 -1.03 Chile IPSA 3,675.67 0.73 -0.12 Chile IGPA 18,060.50 0.65 -0.50 Argentina MerVal 11,346.76 -0.46 -2.81 Colombia IGBC 8,731.30 0.22 2.15 Venezuela IBC 14,583.27 1.47 -0.03 Currencies Latest Daily YTD pct pct change change Brazil real 3.9348 -0.82 0.31 Mexico peso 18.8890 -0.47 -9.63 Chile peso 712.9 -0.10 -0.45 Colombia peso 3,390.59 0.03 -6.98 Peru sol 3.5061 -0.11 -2.70 Argentina peso (interbank) 14.4900 -0.84 -11.61 Argentina peso (parallel) 14.2 0.42 0.49 (Reporting by Anna Yukhananov; Editing by Leslie Adler)
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