EMERGING MARKETS-Most Latam currencies fall on U.S. data, Brazil real jumps
By Bruno Federowski SAO PAULO, April 1 (Reuters) - Most Latin American currencies weakened on Friday after stronger-than-expected U.S. employment data fostered bets that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates sooner than previously expected. The Brazilian real bucked the trend, gaining nearly 1 percent against the dollar after the police arrested former leaders of the ruling Workers' Party as part of a wide-spreading corruption probe. The arrests dealt another blow to the party of leftist President Dilma Rousseff, who is unpopular with many investors and is the subject of impeachment proceedings in Congress. The belief that a change in government would prove more investor friendly helped drive the real's 11 percent gain in March, its best monthly performance in 13 years. Several other Latin American currencies, however, fell after U.S. employment rose solidly and wages bounced back in March, while factory activity rose in February. Some traders bet that could allow the Fed to increase rates later this year, possibly draining funds away from high-yielding emerging markets. Latin American currencies had rallied earlier this week after Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the bank would be cautious in tightening policy. The Mexican peso extended its slide for a second day after Moody's downgraded state-controlled oil company Pemex's rating to Baa3. The credit ratings agency had cut its outlook for the country's sovereign rating to negative on Thursday, citing a possibility that the government could pour funds into Pemex. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1635 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % change change Latest MSCI Emerging Markets 826.87 -1.19 5.37 MSCI LatAm 2150.56 -0.83 18.51 Brazil Bovespa 50128.24 0.15 15.64 Mexico IPC 45676.00 -0.45 6.28 Chile IPSA 3921.53 -0.41 6.56 Chile IGPA 19210.74 -0.45 5.84 Argentina MerVal 12981.28 -0.08 11.19 Colombia IGBC 9887.68 0.16 15.68 Venezuela IBC 14912.71 2.32 2.22 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.5582 0.99 10.93 Mexico peso 17.3145 -0.24 -0.49 Chile peso 669.2 -0.33 6.05 Colombia peso 3032.35 -1.08 4.52 Peru sol 3.336 -0.96 2.34 Argentina peso (interbank) 14.6600 0.41 -11.44 Argentina peso (parallel) 15.11 0.99 -5.56 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by W Simon)
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