EMERGING MARKETS-Colombian peso weakens on oil; currencies rise in Mexico, Brazil
By Bruno Federowski and Paula Arend Laier SAO PAULO, Feb 19 (Reuters) - The Colombian peso slid on Friday amid falling oil prices, while Brazil and Mexico's currencies posted gains. In Colombia, the currency weakened 0.44 percent to 3354.1 pesos per dollar. The Brazilian real strengthened 0.60 percent and the Mexican peso was up 0.30 percent. Mexico's peso posted its biggest weekly gain since 2011 after the central bank announced a surprise currency intervention and interest rate hike. Mexican authorities have said they could directly intervene again in the foreign exchange market. Strategists said that threat should help the peso stabilize after being one of the worst-performing currencies in the world earlier this year. Brazilian stocks rebounded after dropping earlier in the day as oil prices resumed their decline, while shares of Santander Brasil SA slumped after rival Citigroup Inc announced plans to exit retail banking operations in Brazil, Argentina and Colombia. Citigroup's move means Spanish Banco Santander SA's Brazilian unit will be the last foreign bank in an increasingly concentrated market. In addition, Friday was the first day that many Santander Brasil executives were allowed to sell shares from their stock options, according to a source familiar with the matter. Shares of BM&F Bovespa SA fell after Brazil's sole financial exchange posted an unexpected fourth-quarter loss on impairment charges. Traders also assessed the implications of a potential acquisition of rival clearinghouse Cetip SA Mercados Organizados . Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2100 GMT: Stock indexes daily % Latest change MSCI Emerging Markets 740.98 -0.7 MSCI LatAm 1751.95 -1.03 Brazil Bovespa 41543.40 0.16 Mexico IPC 43375.31 -0.32 Chile IPSA 3755.26 -0.34 Chile IGPA 18411.73 -0.26 Argentina MerVal 11826.05 -1.37 Colombia IGBC 9022.84 -0.23 Venezuela IBC 16351.15 1.97 Currencies daily % change Latest Brazil real 4.0217 0.60 Mexico peso 18.2250 0.30 Chile peso 700 0.50 Colombia peso 3354.1 -0.44 Peru sol 3.5161 -0.26 Argentina peso (interbank) 15.0650 0.03 Argentina peso (parallel) 15.28 0.46 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski, Paula Arend Laier, Nelson Bocanegra, Jean Luis Arce and Michael O'Boyle; Editing by Daniel Flynn, Meredith Mazzilli and Leslie Adler)
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