18 de febrero de 2015 / 17:53 / en 3 años

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies weaken ahead of Fed; Mexico eyes inflation report

RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies
weakened broadly on Wednesday as traders awaited the release of
the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest policy-setting minutes.
    The Fed is set to release minutes from its January meeting
at 2 p.m. ET (1900 GMT). Analysts said the minutes will likely
support the view that the central bank will raise rates by
mid-year, leading to a stronger dollar.
    Brazil's real  weakened after reopening from a
two and 1/2 day market holiday. The central bank did not
intervene in the currency as the foreign exchange market had a
shortened session, with trading resuming only in the afternoon.
    Traders said volume was very thin, adding to risks of higher
volatility in the session.
    "The market is totally empty. All there is to do is adjust
to what happened in recent days while the market was closed,"
said Reginaldo Siaca, head of currency trading at brokerage TOV
in Sao Paulo.
    Mexico's peso also weakened slightly ahead of the
central bank's release of its quarterly inflation report,
expected later on Wednesday. The peso has lost almost 15 percent
against the dollar in the last six months.
    "If the peso continues to weaken at this pace, it is
possible that (the central bank) will hike before or around the
same time the Fed does (June, in our view)," wrote Brown
Brothers Harriman analysts led by Marc Chandler. "However, much
depends on the underlying macro picture too, both domestically
and globally."
    Most Latin American equities markets were flat, though
Brazil's Bovespa index rose nearly 2 percent. Gains in
the Bovespa were led by banks and state-run oil producer
Petroleo Brasileiro SA, known as Petrobras.
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1733 GMT:
 Stock indexes                        daily %    YTD %
                             Latest    change   change
 MSCI Emerging Markets        982.92    -0.02      2.8
 MSCI LatAm                  2652.36     0.56     -3.3
 Brazil Bovespa             51514.53     1.74     3.01
 Mexico IPC                 43234.14    -0.04     0.21
 Chile IPSA                  3985.32     0.04     3.49
 Chile IGPA                 19395.09     0.06     2.78
 Argentina MerVal            9567.27     0.05    11.52
 Colombia IGBC              10723.51     0.14    -7.83
 Peru IGRA                  13792.59     0.18    -6.77
 Venezuela IBC               3503.85     0.42    -9.20
 Currencies                           daily %    YTD %
                                       change   change
 Brazil real                  2.8425    -0.45    -6.51
 Mexico peso                 14.9455    -0.20    -1.35
 Chile peso                   621.75    -0.24    -2.47
 Colombia peso                2433.9    -0.78    -1.89
 Peru sol                      3.085    -0.06    -3.44
 Argentina peso               8.6900    -0.06    -1.61
 Argentina peso                   13     1.46     7.69

 (Reporting by Asher Levine and Bruno Federowski; Editing by
Chizu Nomiyama)

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