EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies strengthen on oil, better sentiment
(Updates prices) By Bruno Federowski SAO PAULO, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies firmed on Thursday, supported by higher oil prices and slightly better sentiment toward the region's emerging markets after their recent slump. Regional currencies, including the Mexican peso , the Colombian peso and the Brazilian real , have all rebounded after falling to their respective all-time lows in recent weeks. The real closed up 0.2 percent at 3.9458 to the dollar, nearly erasing its losses for the year, while the Chilean peso hovered close to its highest in more than three months. Latin American markets were supported by a 3 percent jump in crude oil futures after major producers confirmed a meeting and news of project delays and job cuts in the industry suggested production could slow. The upward momentum came despite lingering concerns over China's economy, which have weighed on global commodity prices and the region's major commodity producers. In contrast, China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slid more than 6 percent on Thursday to post its biggest loss in a month. Emerging market assets should remain volatile until the global outlook becomes clearer, Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts Alberto Ades wrote in a client note. The bank's favorite "long picks" for emerging markets are Russia, India and Brazil, he added. Brazilian stocks seesawed following a heavy batch of corporate results, ending down 0.6 percent and underperforming regional markets. Shares of Vale SA fell after the miner reported its worst loss in 20 years. Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2100 GMT: MSCI Emerging Markets 735.61 -0.12 -7.25 MSCI LatAm 1780.62 0.54 -3.21 Brazil Bovespa 41724.60 -0.86 -3.75 Mexico IPC 43434.55 0.60 1.06 Chile IPSA 3693.51 0.41 0.36 Chile IGPA 18153.95 0.35 0.01 Argentina MerVal 12935.94 2.44 10.80 Colombia IGBC 9106.15 1.21 6.54 Venezuela IBC 16819.73 0.87 15.30 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.9458 0.18 -0.04 Mexico peso 18.1265 0.46 -5.20 Chile peso 692 0.55 2.49 Colombia peso 3308.19 0.83 -4.38 Peru sol 3.5271 0.06 -3.31 Argentina peso (interbank) 15.3850 -0.23 -18.51 Argentina peso (parallel) 15.61 -0.19 -9.39 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski, additional reporting by Paula Arend Laier and Anna Yukhananov; editing by G Crosse, Diane Craft)
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