September 12, 2016 / 10:22 PM / 2 years ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks, currencies mostly slip on Fed rate hike worries

(Updates currencies, adds table)
    By Bruno Federowski
    SAO PAULO, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Latin American stock markets
rose on Monday after comments by a Federal Reserve official
allayed concerns over a possible U.S. interest rate increase.
    Fed Governor Lael Brainard said on Monday the U.S. central
bank must be careful not to remove its monetary stimulus too
quickly due to potential weakness in the labor market and risks
of foreign economic downturns. 
    While Brainard did not comment on the specific timing of
future interest rate policy, the comments suggested she was
holding firm in arguing for caution. 
    In a volatile session, the Mexican peso  
weakened to its weakest levels in more than two months, but
pared losses after Brainard's remarks to close at 18.81 per
dollar, a gain of 0.57 percent compared to Friday's close. The
Brazilian real gained 0.95 percent to close at 3.24 per
    While some stock markets in the region dropped, Brazil's
benchmark Bovespa stock index rose 1.03 percent.
Mexico's IPC index and Argentina's MerVal also rose.
    Common shares of Petróleo Brasileiro SA provided
a sizeable boost to the index after the state-controlled oil
company's output hit a record high in August, while shares of
Vale SA also rose, offering support to the benchmark
    JPMorgan analysts improved their recommendation for
U.S.-listed stocks in the miner to "overweight" and increased
their price target to $7 from $5.
    In Mexico shares of Cemex, one of the world's
largest cement producers, rose 2.16 percent after the company
announced it would sell a U.S. plant for $400 million in a move
to reduce its total debt.
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2020 GMT:
 Stock                       Latest    daily %     YTD %
   indexes                             change      change
 MSCI Emerging Markets       889.41    -2.19       12
 MSCI LatAm                  2377.57   -0.23       29.94
 Brazil Bovespa              58586.11  1.01        35.15
 Mexico IPC                  46720.96  0.56        8.71
 Chile IPSA                  4067.89   -0.61       10.53
 Chile IGPA                  20230.95  -0.57       11.46
 Argentina MerVal            16047.58  0.45        37.45
 Colombia IGBC               10239.92  -0.82       19.80
 Venezuela IBC               12030.39  0.18        -17.53
 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by James Dalgleish and
Grant McCool)
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