EMERGING MARKETS-LatAm currencies slip on weak U.S. data; real gains
BRASILIA, May 4 (Reuters) - Most Latin American currencies retreated on Wednesday as economic growth worries weighed on global markets for a second day, although the Brazilian real gained as the central bank stayed clear of intervening. Mexico's stock index underperformed other bourses in the region, falling nearly 1 percent after U.S. data showed private hiring in Mexico's largest trading partner fell in April to its lowest level in three years. The Bovespa stock index and the broader MSCI LatAm index had small gains, after a brief decline at the start of the trading session. Lackluster manufacturing data from across the world, including China, had already weighed on emerging market stocks and currencies this week, after three months of steady gains. The downbeat mood contrasted with findings of a Reuters poll showing most strategists saw emerging currencies holding their ground against the U.S. dollar throughout this year. Forecasts were revised up across the board, after two months of strong portfolio inflows into emerging markets. The Brazilian real was the only currency in Latin America to advance against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday. The real had the best performance among the 35 currencies most traded in the world, according to Thomson Reuters data, edging closer to eight-month highs by rising more than 1 percent. In equities markets, non-voting shares in miner Vale SA lost more than 5 percent after Brazilian prosecutors announced a $155 billion-real ($43.5 billion) civil lawsuit for the collapse of a dam last year. Shares in Brazilian airline Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA jumped 13 percent, their biggest intraday gain in over five weeks, after proposing investors to take losses of up to 70 percent on $780 million of outstanding bonds. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1555 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 811.73 -1.14 3.39 MSCI LatAm 2188.74 0.02 19.59 Brazil Bovespa 52560.64 0.57 21.25 Mexico IPC 45201.43 -0.98 5.17 Chile IPSA 3991.90 -0.24 8.47 Chile IGPA 19633.75 -0.2 8.17 Argentina MerVal 13269.15 0.78 13.65 Colombia IGBC 9733.47 -0.3 13.88 Venezuela IBC 15382.33 0.52 5.44 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.5308 1.10 11.79 Mexico peso 17.7090 -0.45 -2.70 Chile peso 670.1 -0.19 5.91 Colombia peso 2940.97 -0.95 7.76 Peru sol 3.3309 0.03 2.49 Argentina peso (interbank) 14.2200 -0.07 -8.70 Argentina peso (parallel) 14.63 0.21 -2.46 (Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)
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