EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies, stocks down as Fed rate hike looms

jueves 19 de mayo de 2016 11:29 GYT

By Bruno Federowski
    SAO PAULO, May 19 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks and
currencies fell on Thursday after U.S. Federal Reserve policy
minutes revived bets on an interest rate increase as soon as
next month.
    The minutes of the U.S. central bank's April meeting showed
officials believed a June hike would be warranted if data
suggests faster growth, rising inflation and solid employment.
    Higher U.S. interest rates would in turn raise borrowing
costs in emerging markets.
    Weakness in commodities including iron ore .IO62-CNI=SI
also weighed on demand for assets from exporters of basic
products. Crude prices  fell below $48 per barrel,
pressured by an unexpected build in U.S. stocks. 
    Shares of Brazilian oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA
 slipped 0.6 percent, weighing on the country's
benchmark Bovespa stock index.
    The Mexican peso  touched a three-month low,
triggering speculation that the central bank could act to buffer
the slump through spot dollar sales or by increasing interest
    The bank resorted to both measures at an impromptu meeting
in February as the peso tumbled to its record lows near 19.50
per U.S. dollar. 
    A majority of the central bank's policymakers believed the
peso could depreciate even further, with one saying there is
space to tighten policy without significantly affecting economic
activity, the minutes of the bank's last policy meeting showed.
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1500 GMT:
 Stock indexes                                daily %    YTD %
                                     Latest    change   change
 MSCI Emerging Markets                782.55    -1.47     0.01
 MSCI LatAm                          2059.83    -2.42    15.37
 Brazil Bovespa                     49795.39    -1.54    14.87
 Mexico IPC                         45181.03    -0.81     5.13
 Chile IPSA                          3939.16    -0.69     7.04
 Chile IGPA                         19391.78    -0.61     6.83
 Argentina MerVal                   12401.92    -3.33     6.22
 Colombia IGBC                       9808.75    -0.59    14.76
 Currencies                                   daily %    YTD %
                                               change   change
 Brazil real                          3.5933    -0.88     9.84
 Mexico peso                         18.5050    -0.32    -6.89
 Chile peso                            695.2    -0.72     2.09
 Colombia peso                       3048.07    -0.83     3.98
 Peru sol                             3.3369    -0.33     2.31
 Argentina peso (interbank)          14.1350     0.00    -8.15
 Argentina peso (parallel)             14.63     0.55    -2.46
 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by David Gregorio)