By Bruno Federowski
SAO PAULO, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Brazil’s currency and stocks rose on Thursday after weak U.S. economic figures reduced expectations of an imminent rate hike, but rising poll numbers for U.S presidential candidate Donald Trump pushed Mexico’s peso to close at a record low.
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.
Brazil’s Bovespa rose 1.49 percent to 57.909 points, helped by a 3.04 percent rise in preferential shares of Petrobras on a pick-up in oil prices. The real strengthened 1.24 percent to 3.33017 per dollar.
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.
Mexico’s peso closed at its lowest level ever, weakening 0.46 percent to 19.3635 per dollar, while the IPC stock index rose 0.34 percent, helped by a pickup in Wal-Mart de Mexico shares. (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Diane Craft)