August 15, 2016 / 10:02 PM / 2 years ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Mexico peso strengthens to highest level since mid-May

(New throughout, updates prices and market activity, adds peso
    By Bruno Federowski and Gabriel Stargardter
    SAO PAULO/MEXICO CITY, Aug 15 (Reuters) - The Mexican peso
strengthened on Monday to its highest level since mid-May,
boosted by a rise in oil prices and bets that developed
economies would continue with loose monetary policies.
    The peso strengthened 1.03 percent, boosted by a rally in
crude prices on speculation of a coordinated action to limit
global output. 
     So far this month, the beleaguered currency has gained 3.6
percent, with investors betting that central banks will maintain
loose monetary policy in the face of global volatility. Yet the
peso remains down nearly 5 percent so far this year, pummeled by
weak oil prices.
    The Mexican IPC stock index, meanwhile, posted its
ninth consecutive session of gains, rising 0.68 percent, also
boosted by the oil price rise.  
    The Brazilian real weakened slightly on Monday, ending the
day down 0.11 percent. Earlier in the session, the real had
gained after a senior official told Reuters there was not much
the government could do to halt the currency's recent rally.
    The real had posted its biggest daily loss in two months on
Friday after interim President Michel Temer said his government
would "look for an equilibrium" in the exchange rate.
    But a senior member of the economic team told Reuters that
the real should continue to strengthen, given high liquidity
abroad and less political uncertainty at home. 
    "Friday's reading, that the central bank could try to fight
off strength in the real, is rapidly fading," said José Carlos
Amado, a trader with Spinelli brokerage in São Paulo.
    The real has set one-year highs on optimism over Temer's
pledges of fiscal restraint, while expectations of low U.S.
interest rates sparked a worldwide rally in emerging market
    Markets in Colombia, Argentina and Chile were closed due to
local holidays.
    Brazilian equities also rose, supported by higher oil
    Shares of state-controlled Brazilian oil company Petróleo
Brasileiro SA  provided a major boost to
Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index, which rose to
its highest level since September 2014.
    Stocks in Braskem SA also contributed after
Brazil's largest petrochemical company named Everson Bassinello
as its new head of compliance.
    Braskem has sought to improve governance amid corruption
charges as part of a sweeping graft probe involving government
officials and executives at major companies.
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2117 GMT:
 Stock indexes                             daily %     YTD %
                               Latest       change    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets            915.84      0.63      14.6
 MSCI LatAm                      2519.37      0.66     36.78
 Brazil Bovespa                59145.976      1.45     36.63
 Mexico IPC                     48694.90      0.68     13.29
 Venezuela IBC                  12435.81      0.29    -14.75
 Currencies                                daily %     YTD %
                                            change    change
 Brazil real                      3.1870     -0.11     24.23
 Mexico peso                      18.079      1.03     -4.93
 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski and Gabriel Stargardter;
Additional reporting by Paula Arend Laier; Editing by Lisa Von
Ahn and David Gregorio)
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