EMERGING MARKETS-Mexican peso up on Chinese, U.S. data; oil caps gains
By Bruno Federowski SAO PAULO, Feb 16 (Reuters) - The Mexican peso advanced for a third consecutive session on Tuesday on data showing strong loan growth in China and a smaller-than-expected improvement in U.S. business activity, but gains were capped by volatile oil prices. New loans in China hit a record high in January, suggesting policymakers are keeping monetary policy loose as the world's top consumer of commodities tries to avoid a sharp economic slowdown. A New York Federal Reserve report that showed regional business activity improved but by less than analysts had expected also helped sentiment in emerging markets. Traders took the figures as a sign that the U.S. central bank could take longer to resume its rate-hike cycle, fostering demand for high-yielding assets. The Mexican peso has rebounded since hitting an all-time low last Thursday as speculation of an agreement to cut global output lifted oil prices. However, crude prices pared gains on Tuesday after Russia and Saudi Arabia agreed to freeze output levels as long as other producers agreed to join them, driving the Colombian peso lower. Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1415 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % change change Latest MSCI Emerging Markets 730.92 0.56 -8.47 MSCI LatAm 1720.00 0.34 -6.32 Brazil Bovespa 40562.47 1.17 -6.43 Chile IPSA 3691.86 0.33 0.32 Chile IGPA 18148.58 0.29 -0.02 Venezuela IBC 15605.47 3.02 6.97 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 4.0213 -0.65 -1.85 Mexico peso 18.7580 0.38 -8.15 Chile peso 703 -0.26 0.95 Colombia peso 3381.51 -0.10 -6.28 Peru sol 3.502 -0.09 -2.51 Argentina peso (interbank) 14.8500 -0.34 -12.58 Argentina peso (parallel) 14.95 0.00 -4.55 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Paul Simao)
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