EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies steady as U.S. inventory build lifts oil prices
By Bruno Federowski SAO PAULO, April 20 (Reuters) - Most Latin American currencies steadied on Wednesday after oil prices turned positive following a smaller-than-expected U.S. crude inventory build. The U.S. government's Energy Information Administration said crude stockpiles rose 2.1 million barrels last week, less than the 2.4 million barrel build forecast by analysts polled by Reuters and the 3.1 million barrel rise called by the American Petroleum Institute industry group. Crude prices had slumped earlier on Wednesday following the end of a worker strike in Kuwait which had nearly halved output in the OPEC-member nation. The Mexican peso strengthened about 0.2 percent after earlier falling by as much as 0.4 percent. The Colombian peso treaded water, supported by expectations of higher rates. The Brazilian real weakened after local news outlets suggested Vice President Michel Temer could be struggling to set up an orthodox economic team amid a deep economic rout. "Given the economic crisis, it seems it will not be easy to find someone who is willing to step up to the task," B&T brokerage FX trader Marcos Trabbold said. A widely expected Senate decision to oust leftist President Dilma Rousseff's could put Temer in charge by early May as she faces a prolonged upper-house trial. A central bank decision to once again sell reverse currency swaps, which function like dollar purchases in futures markets, after staying put for a day also weighed on the real currency. A senior government official told Reuters on Tuesday the central bank will intervene less in the foreign exchange market as it expects volatility to ease in the coming days. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1555 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % change change Latest MSCI Emerging Markets 850.17 -0.3 7.38 MSCI LatAm 2243.73 -0.25 22.93 Brazil Bovespa 53477.54 -0.43 23.36 Mexico IPC 45534.60 -0.54 5.95 Chile IPSA 3984.32 -0.13 8.26 Chile IGPA 19546.38 -0.1 7.68 Argentina MerVal 14010.47 1.05 20.00 Colombia IGBC 10143.45 0.78 18.67 Venezuela IBC 16115.40 0.05 10.47 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.5446 -0.49 11.35 Mexico peso 17.2525 0.33 -0.13 Chile peso 658.7 0.35 7.74 Colombia peso 2898 -0.07 9.36 Peru sol 3.243 0.19 5.27 Argentina peso (interbank) 14.2450 -0.39 -8.86 Argentina peso (parallel) 14.73 0.00 -3.12 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Grant McCool)
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