EMERGING MARKETS-Mexico peso jumps after rate hike, intervention surprise

miércoles 17 de febrero de 2016 17:42 GYT
 

By Bruno Federowski
    SAO PAULO, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Mexico's peso surged on
Wednesday, leading regional currency gains after the country's
central bank surprised markets with an unexpected interest rate
hike and unveiled a new intervention policy while the government
said it would cut spending.
    The peso  strengthened nearly 5 percent after
the surprise moves to 17.962 per dollar, before paring back
gains to 2.9 percent later in the day.
    The central bank raised its benchmark interest rate
 by 50 basis points to 3.75 percent. It also
intervened directly in the foreign exchange market to sell
dollars as part of a major policy shift to support the peso,
which has weakened to record lows in recent weeks. 
    Finance Minister Luis Videgaray also said the government
would cut 2016 spending by 132 billion pesos, equivalent to
about 0.7 percent of gross domestic product.
    Elsewhere in the region, Colombia's peso rallied on
Wednesday afternoon on rising oil prices, trading up 1.6
percent. The currency had slumped in the morning after Standard
& Poor's revised its outlook for Colombia's rating to negative
from stable on Tuesday. 
    Brazilian markets also advanced as stocks and
currency posted gains.
    Shares of state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro
SA rose a day after Reuters reported that state-run
banks are considering converting part or all of their
outstanding loans to Petrobras into equity. 
    Traders also cheered a bill which would relieve Petrobras,
as the company is known, from its obligation of participating in
all new projects in the subsalt polygon oil region. Senate
President Renan Calheiros said the chamber could vote on the
bill as early as Wednesday. 
    
    Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2045 GMT:
    
 Stock indexes               Latest          Daily   YTD pct
                                               pct    change
                                            change  
 MSCI Emerging Markets            736.28      0.67      -7.9
                                                    
 MSCI LatAm                     1,770.17      3.42     -6.46
 Brazil Bovespa                41,630.82      1.67     -3.97
 Mexico IPC                    43,517.26      0.97      1.26
 Chile IPSA                     3,738.61      0.65      1.59
 Chile IGPA                    18,339.40      0.64      1.04
 Argentina MerVal              12,058.95      4.37      3.29
 Colombia IGBC                  8,998.38      2.65      5.28
 Venezuela IBC                 15,590.36         0      6.87
                                                            
 Currencies                       Latest     Daily   YTD pct
                                               pct    change
                                            change  
 Brazil real                      3.9824      0.24     -0.89
 Mexico peso                     18.3520      2.88     -6.11
 Chile peso                        700.2      1.29      1.36
 Colombia peso                  3,358.99      1.61     -5.65
 Peru sol                         3.5031      0.23     -2.54
 Argentina peso (interbank)      14.9800     -0.87    -13.33
                                                    
 Argentina peso (parallel)         15.27     -1.24     -6.55
                                                    
 
 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski, Miguel Angel Gutierrez, Michael
O'Boyle, and Nelson Bocanegra, editing by G Crosse)