August 30, 2016 / 10:32 PM / 2 years ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies weaken on Fed official's comments, U.S. data

(Adds final prices)
    By Bruno Federowski
    SAO PAULO, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies
weakened on Tuesday as comments by a high-ranking Federal
Reserve policymaker and strong U.S. economic data kept investors
guessing about the possibility of a September interest rate
    Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer told Bloomberg TV that the
U.S. job market is nearing full strength and the pace of rate
increases will depend on the economy's health. 
    But he refrained from commenting on the timing of the next
Fed rate hike, saying that will depend on the incoming economic
    Data on Tuesday showed U.S. consumer sentiment rose to 101.1
in August, handily beating expectations for a reading of 97.0.
    Fischer had said on Friday that Fed Chair Janet Yellen's
speech at the global central bankers' conference in Jackson
Hole, Wyoming, was "consistent" with the possibility of a
September hike, boosting the dollar's value. 
    Markets are now focused on the U.S. employment report for
August, which is scheduled to be released later this week.
    "Investors continue to focus on Friday's U.S. nonfarm
payroll data for guidance on the timing of the next Fed rate
increase," Scotiabank analysts wrote in a client note.
    A decline in oil prices also weighed on the currencies of
crude exporters, such as the Mexican and Colombian
    Stock markets were mixed in thin trading, with activity in
Brazilian markets especially subdued as traders monitored the
Senate impeachment trial of suspended President Dilma Rousseff. 
    The 81 senators will make final statements on Tuesday and
vote for a verdict on Wednesday morning, said Supreme Court
Chief Justice Ricardo Lewandowski, who is presiding over the
    Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index dipped 0.1
percent. Education company Estácio Participações SA 
was the biggest loser, with its shares falling after its chief
executive officer quit, citing personal and family issues.
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2200 GMT:
 Stock indexes                    Latest        Daily     YTD
                                                  pct     pct
                                               change  change
 MSCI Emerging Markets                898.95     0.33   13.19
 MSCI LatAm                         2,413.41    -0.71   31.89
 Brazil Bovespa                    58,575.42    -0.06   35.12
 Mexico IPC                        47,650.57     0.11   10.87
 Chile IPSA                         4,140.72    -0.35   12.51
 Chile IGPA                        20,536.98    -0.26   13.14
 Argentina MerVal                  15,872.08    -1.00   35.95
 Colombia IGBC                     10,126.52     0.29   18.48
 Venezuela IBC                     11,997.94     0.68  -17.76
 Currencies                           Latest    Daily     YTD
                                                  pct     pct
                                               change  change
 Brazil real                          3.2402    -0.24   21.81
 Mexico peso                          18.825    -1.07   -8.47
 Chile peso                            674.8    -0.49    5.17
 Colombia peso                       2,941.9    -0.73    7.73
 Peru sol                              3.377     0.00    1.10
 Argentina peso (interbank)            15.01     0.50  -13.51
 Argentina peso (parallel)             15.44     0.13   -7.58
 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)
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