EMERGING MARKETS-LatAm currencies extend gains, Brazil's central bank intervenes
SAO PAULO, April 29 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies extended their gains for a fourth day on Friday on dovish signs from the Federal Reserve, prompting the Brazilian central bank to step up intervention to halt a surge of the real that hit an eight-month high. Brazil's central bank offered up to $2.5 billion in reverse currency swaps in three auctions after the real hit 3.45 per dollar. It was the first central bank intervention in a week. Other Latin American currencies also strengthened, with the Mexican peso up nearly 1 percent at a four-month high after better-than-expected preliminary GDP data. "The dollar trend remains bearish. The (Brazilian) central bank came in and it continued to fall (against the real) anyway," said Glauber Romano, trader at brokerage Intercam. The dollar index, a measure of the greenback's value against a basket of currencies, was on course for its third consecutive monthly decline, something not seen for five years. Investors have pared their bets on multiple interest rate hikes this year after the U.S. economy nearly ground to a halt in the first quarter. Latin American stock markets were also positive, with the broader MSCI Latin American stock index up more than 0.5 percent, as commodities prices gained. Shares of Mexican media group Televisa SAB jumped more than 5 percent after the company reported solid sales growth despite a 59-percent drop in its first-quarter profit. A sharp drop in shares of planemaker Embraer SA capped gains in Brazilian stocks. Shares of the world's third-largest commercial jet maker fell more than 5 percent after a decline in profit margins in the first quarter. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1503 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 840.43 -0.43 6.29 MSCI LatAm 2298.58 0.64 24.82 Brazil Bovespa 54311.12 0 25.29 Mexico IPC 45618.00 0.2 6.14 Chile IPSA 4009.24 -0.33 8.94 Chile IGPA 19680.01 -0.29 8.42 Argentina MerVal 13871.79 0.96 18.81 Colombia IGBC 10029.48 -0.53 17.34 Venezuela IBC 15654.76 0 7.31 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.4507 1.31 14.38 Mexico peso 17.1310 0.77 0.58 Chile peso 660.5 0.00 7.45 Colombia peso 2848 0.91 11.28 Peru sol 3.2669 0.28 4.50 Argentina peso (interbank) 14.2625 0.61 -8.97 Argentina peso (parallel) 14.54 1.17 -1.86 (Reporting by Flavia Bohone; Writing by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Frances Kerry)
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