EMERGING MARKETS-Latam markets mostly up as U.S. data dampens rate hike bets
By Bruno Federowski SAO PAULO, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks and currencies were mostly higher on Thursday after weak U.S. economic figures reduced expectations of an imminent rate hike. But concerns lingered about tepid economic growth in developed economies, prospects of less monetary stimulus in Europe and uncertainty over the U.S. presidential election. Emerging market volatility has spiked in recent weeks as mixed economic data and conflicting remarks by U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers kept investors guessing over the timing of the central bank's next moves. Some worry that even rock-bottom rates have lost their capacity to boost economic growth. That could lead the Fed to increase rates despite signs of weakness at home, but keep them at historically low levels. U.S. retail sales fell more than expected, and manufacturing activity slumped in August, according to reports on Thursday, although the labor market continued to strengthen last week and underlying producer inflation rose last month. Traders now await policy meetings from the Fed, the Bank of Japan and the Bank of England next week for more clarity over the future of global monetary policy. Uncertainty about the outcome of the U.S. presidential election as Republican nominee Donald Trump rises in polls has also weighed on sentiment recently. This is particularly affected the Mexican peso as Trump has pledged to curtail trade and financial flows with the neighboring country. The peso rose 0.28 percent on Thursday, underperforming most of its regional peers. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1500 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % change change Latest MSCI Emerging Markets 887.40 0.26 11.46 MSCI LatAm 2321.78 0.85 25.81 Brazil Bovespa 57635.66 1.01 32.95 Mexico IPC 45795.80 0.06 6.56 Chile IPSA 4065.98 0.02 10.48 Chile IGPA 20217.83 0.03 11.38 Argentina MerVal 15590.19 0.28 33.53 Colombia IGBC 10102.59 -0.05 18.20 Venezuela IBC 12015.67 -0.75 -17.63 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.3274 0.42 18.62 Mexico peso 19.2200 0.28 -10.35 Chile peso 669.2 0.75 6.05 Colombia peso 2928.99 0.72 8.20 Peru sol 3.383 0.30 0.92 Argentina peso (interbank) 15.0300 0.00 -13.62 Argentina peso (parallel) 15.36 0.33 -7.10 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)
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