February 2, 2017 / 10:40 PM / a year ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Mexico, Brazil currencies firm as Fed stands pat

By Bruno Federowski
    SAO PAULO, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Mexico's peso hit a more than
six-week high and Brazil's real strengthened on Thursday after
the U.S. Federal Reserve refrained from offering clear signals
of a March interest rate increase.
    The Fed held rates steady on Wednesday in its first meeting
since the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, whose
promises to cut taxes and raise spending have stoked bets on
inflationary pressures. 
    The U.S. central bank said job gains remained solid,
inflation had increased and economic confidence was rising,
although it gave no firm signal on the timing of its next rate
    Mexico's peso closed at its highest since Dec. 20, closing
up 0.75 percent at 20.545 pesos per U.S. dollar.
    The peso has gained almost 7 percent since Trump took office
Jan. 20 and did not immediately move to rip up a free trade deal
with Mexico. On Friday, Trump said he would like to speed up
talks to either renegotiate or replace the deal. 
    The Brazilian real, which was closed at the release
of the Fed policy statement, strengthened 0.89 percent.
    Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index fell 0.4
percent, hurt by shares in bank Bradesco, which
missed analyst expectations with its fourth-quarter
    Mexico's IPC stock index closed up 0.18 percent ahead of
results from one of its largest companies, America Movil
    Key Latin American stock indexes at 2142 GMT:
 Stock indexes                   Latest       Daily  YTD pct
                                                pct   change
 MSCI Emerging Markets              915.21     0.24     6.14
 MSCI LatAm                        2535.30     0.81     8.32
 Brazil Bovespa                   64578.22     -0.4     7.22
 Mexico IPC                       47095.07     0.18     3.18
 Chile IPSA                        4226.07     0.52     1.80
 Chile IGPA                       21104.10     0.46     1.78
 Argentina MerVal                 19374.99      0.9    14.52
 Colombia IGBC                    10193.59      0.5     0.65
 Venezuela IBC                    28194.68      0.3   -11.07
 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski, Miguel Angel Gutierrez and
Gabriela Mello; Editing by Alan Crosby)
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