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 Mexican peso slid 0.41 percent on falling oil prices after the Saudi deputy crown prince said Saudi Arabia will freeze crude oil production only if Iran and other major producers agree to do so. 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 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 U.S. manufacturing activity rose in March. 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 this week after Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the U.S. central bank would be cautious in tightening policy. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2105 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 826.19 -1.27 4.04 MSCI LatAm 2161.32 -0.33 18.12 Brazil Bovespa 50561.53 1.01 16.64 Mexico IPC 46062.92 0.4 7.18 Chile IPSA 3947.34 0.25 7.26 Chile IGPA 19340.64 0.23 6.55 Argentina MerVal 13179.84 1.44 12.89 Colombia IGBC 9890.05 0.19 15.71 Venezuela IBC 14912.71 2.32 2.22 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.5603 0.933 10.861 Mexico peso 17.343 -0.41 -0.652 Chile peso 669.2 -0.33 6.05 Colombia peso 3037.6 0.00 4.34 Peru sol 3.341 -1.10 2.18 Argentina peso (interbank) 14.7850 -0.44 -12.19 Argentina peso (parallel) 15.16 0.66 -5.87 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Additional reporting by Miguel Angel Gutierrez; Editing by James Dalgleish)
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