EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies gain as commodities rise for 3rd day
(Updates prices) BRASILIA, May 17 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies advanced slightly against the dollar on Tuesday as commodities prices rose for a third consecutive day, while a drop in banking shares dragged Brazilian stocks down. The Peruvian sol and the Chilean peso strengthened the most among Latin American currencies, despite U.S. inflation data suggesting an increasing likelihood of rate hikes by the Federal Reserve later this year. "Oil is up sharply again, which weakened the dollar against emerging currencies after some positive data out of the U.S. earlier today," said João Paulo de Gracia Correa, regional head of currency trading at the Brazilian brokerage SLW. U.S. crude prices hit a seven-month high after traders expected the United States to draw down oil stockpiles, and a massive wildfire shifted north in Canada, continuing to threaten oil supplies. The Brazilian real gained only slightly in a volatile session after Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles announced new appointments for the economic team under the interim administration of President Michel Temer. Itau Unibanco's chief economist Ilan Goldfajn will replace Alexandre Tombini as central bank chief. Economists said his nomination signals a bank less vulnerable to political intervention and that could cut interest rates in the second half of this year as inflation eases. Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index fell more than 1 percent, dragged down by financial shares such as those of state-run lender Banco do Brasil SA, which fell more than 4 percent. Meirelles said a new chief executive for Banco do Brasil will be announced in coming days. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1955 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % Latest change change MSCI Emerging Markets 801.49 0.51 0.41 MSCI LatAm 2145.84 -0.76 18.17 Brazil Bovespa 50877.64 -1.79 17.36 Mexico IPC 45864.94 0.05 6.72 Chile IPSA 3976.83 -0.4 8.06 Chile IGPA 19553.30 -0.35 7.72 Argentina MerVal 12995.73 -1.56 11.31 Colombia IGBC 9995.74 -0.68 16.95 Venezuela IBC 14424.81 -6.18 -1.12 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.4897 0.36 11.59 Mexico peso 18.2900 0.06 -6.15 Chile peso 688.8 0.70 2.94 Colombia peso 3011.7 0.41 4.97 Peru sol 3.311 0.57 3.02 Argentina peso (interbank) 14.1300 0.05 -8.84 Argentina peso (parallel) 14.61 0.48 -2.38 (Reporting by Silvio Cascione, additional reporting by Anna Yukhananov; Editing by Chris Reese and Cynthia Osterman)
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