EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies steady but poised to end week lower

viernes 12 de febrero de 2016 10:45 GYT

By Bruno Federowski
    SAO PAULO, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies were
mostly little changed on Friday but looked set to post losses on
the week as traders saw a recovery in oil prices offering only
temporary respite from recent financial turmoil.
    Crude prices jumped after comments by the United Arab
Emirates energy minister raised hopes of a coordinated output
cut. Sentiment was still fragile, however, as concerns over the
global economy persisted ahead of the reopening of Chinese
markets on Monday after a week-long holiday for the Lunar New
    Many investors who hold Latin American bonds have been
selling the highly liquid Mexican peso to hedge against
further volatility, driving the currency to underperform its
regional peers. The currency has weakened almost 10 percent so
far this year, even more than oil-heavy Colombia's peso.
    The Mexican peso seesawed after hitting an all-time low on
Thursday, but was still headed for its fifth weekly loss in six
weeks. Currency weakness has fostered talk that the country's
central bank could act to contain pressure on inflation after
holding rates earlier this month.
    Morgan Stanley analysts said in a client note the central
bank is more likely to hold additional dollar sales than raise
interest rates. The Mexican central bank currently sells dollars
automatically whenever the peso sees sharp losses.
    The Chilean central bank left its benchmark rate at 3.50
percent Thursday but indicated further hikes are probable as the
Chilean peso hovers near 13-year lows. 
    Brazil's Bovespa benchmark stock index rose as
higher oil prices lifted shares of state-controlled oil company
Petroleo Brasileiro SA.
    Shares of Cielo rose over 3 percent on news that
Banco do Bradesco SA and Banco do Brasil SA
, Cielo's main shareholders, could give up on buying
rival credit card processing company Elavon do Brasil.
    Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1425 GMT:
 Stock indexes                               daily %     YTD %
                                              change    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets               710.92     -0.3    -10.21
 MSCI LatAm                         1679.12      0.4      -8.6
 Brazil Bovespa                    39754.47     1.11     -8.29
 Chile IPSA                         3664.99     0.39     -0.41
 Chile IGPA                        18015.85     0.38     -0.75
 Argentina MerVal                  11212.75     1.83     -3.96
 Currencies                                  daily %     YTD %
                                              change    change
 Brazil real                         3.9866    -0.12     -0.99
 Mexico peso                        19.1375     0.09     -9.97
 Chile peso                          707.21     0.76      0.35
 Colombia peso                       3414.7     0.69     -7.19
 Peru sol                            3.5081     0.18     -2.68
 Argentina peso (interbank)         14.7000    -0.41    -11.68
 Argentina peso (parallel)            14.45    -1.38     -1.25
 (Editing by Bernadette Baum)