EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies rise to monthly highs on appetite for risk

jueves 31 de marzo de 2016 18:02 GYT
 

(Recasts with updated prices, adds Mexico)
    By Bruno Federowski
    SAO PAULO, March 31 (Reuters) - Currencies in Latin America
strengthened on Thursday, with Peru's sol hitting its highest in
nearly five months, supported by continued expectations the U.S.
Federal Reserve would be slow to raise rates in coming months.
    The Brazilian real also rose, touching a seven-month high,
after the central bank showed it would not stand in the way of a
rally driven by a shifting political outlook. Brazil's benchmark
stock index finished March with its biggest monthly gain
in more than 13 years.
    The Fed's predicted slower pace of rate increases supported
risk appetite for a third day, after Fed Chair Janet Yellen
earlier this week indicated the U.S. central bank would proceed
cautiously in tightening policy. 
    The Peruvian currency jumped 1.8 percent to its
highest since early November, while Chile's peso gained 0.9
percent to an eight-month high as traders scaled back forecasts
of U.S. rate increases.
    Brazil's currency firmed 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 President Dilma Rousseff's potential impeachment could
attract capital to the crisis-ridden economy.
    Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index fell but
still posted its biggest monthly gain since October 2002,
supported by shares of state-controlled companies such as
Petroleo Brasileiro SA and Banco do Brasil SA
.
    Mexico's benchmark IPC stock index fell 0.7 percent
but still posted its best quarter since the end of 2012.
    The peso in Mexico, the region's second-biggest
economy, closed down 0.3 percent after Moody's rating agency
changed the country's outlook to negative from stable due to
concerns about the government's balance sheet. 
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2058 GMT:
 Stock indexes               Latest          Daily   YTD pct
                                               pct    change
                                            change  
 MSCI Emerging Markets            836.80      0.34      5.37
                                                    
 MSCI LatAm                     2,168.49     -0.51     18.51
 Brazil Bovespa                50,055.27     -2.33     15.47
 Mexico IPC                    45,881.08     -0.67      6.76
 Chile IPSA                     3,937.49     -0.23      6.99
 Chile IGPA                    19,296.65     -0.15      6.31
 Argentina MerVal              12,992.43      0.92     11.28
 Colombia IGBC                  9,871.50      1.15     15.49
 Venezuela IBC                 14,574.79     -1.96     -0.09
                                                            
 Currencies                       Latest     Daily   YTD pct
                                               pct    change
                                            change  
 Brazil real                      3.5935      0.72      8.96
 Mexico peso                     17.2725     -0.25     -0.25
 Chile peso                          667      0.92      6.02
 Colombia peso                  2,999.51      0.48      5.36
 Peru sol                         3.3041      1.84      3.22
 Argentina peso (interbank)      14.6500     -0.21    -12.84
                                                    
 Argentina peso (parallel)         15.21      0.59     -6.59
                                                    
 
    
 (Additional reporting by Anna Yukhananov; Editing by Nick
Zieminski and Chris Reese)