EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil real leads Latam gains as central bank stands back

jueves 31 de marzo de 2016 12:20 GYT
 

By Bruno Federowski
    SAO PAULO, March 31 (Reuters) - The Brazilian real led gains
among Latin American currencies on Thursday on signs that the
central bank will not stand in the way of a rally driven by a
shifting political outlook.
    Other currencies in the region also strengthened as
expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will be slow to raise
rates in coming months supported risk appetite for a third day.
    Brazil's currency firmed to its strongest in over six months
after the central bank sold less than half the reverse currency
swaps offered in an auction for the second straight day.
    "It looks like the central bank wants to slow the currency's
rally, but not at any cost," said Glauber Romano, a trader with
Intercam brokerage in São Paulo.
    Reverse currency swaps function like buying dollars in
futures markets and are seen as a way for the central bank to
limit the currency's gains. The real has rallied this month on
bets that President Dilma Rousseff's potential impeachment could
attract capital to the crisis-ridden economy.
    Many investors also bought reais seeking to influence a
benchmark foreign exchange rate calculated by the central bank
early in the afternoon, traders said. The month-end Ptax rate is
widely used in settling foreign exchange derivatives.
    Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index fell on
Thursday but neared its biggest monthly gain in nearly 15 years,
supported by shares of state-controlled companies such as
Petroleo Brasileiro SA and Banco do Brasil SA
.
    The Colombian peso extended recent gains to a
four-month high as traders scaled back forecasts of U.S. rate
increases. Those expectations have contributed to hefty gains in
high-risk assets since Tuesday, when Fed Chair Janet Yellen
indicated that the bank would proceed cautiously in tightening
policy. 

    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1555 GMT:
 Stock indexes                                daily %   YTD %
                                     Latest    change  change
 MSCI Emerging Markets                837.07     0.37    5.02
 MSCI LatAm                          2168.22    -0.53   19.12
 Brazil Bovespa                     50378.73     -1.7   16.21
 Mexico IPC                         46042.31    -0.32    7.13
 Chile IPSA                          3916.02    -0.77    6.41
 Chile IGPA                         19199.39    -0.66    5.77
 Argentina MerVal                   12963.32      0.7   11.03
 Colombia IGBC                       9710.88     -0.5   13.61
 Venezuela IBC                      14574.79    -1.96   -0.09
                                                             
 Currencies                                   daily %   YTD %
                                               change  change
                                      Latest           
 Brazil real                          3.5555     1.81   11.01
 Mexico peso                         17.2250     0.03    0.03
                                                       
 Chile peso                            666.8     0.96    6.43
 Colombia peso                        3006.5     0.25    5.41
 Peru sol                             3.3161     1.51    2.95
 Argentina peso (interbank)          14.5850     0.24  -10.99
                                                       
 Argentina peso (parallel)             15.15     0.99   -5.81
                                                       
 

    
 (Editing by Nick Zieminski)