April 17, 2017 / 3:38 PM / a year ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil real jumps on central bank intervention

    SAO PAULO, April 17 (Reuters) - The Brazilian real jumped on
Monday as the central bank stepped up intervention, providing
additional support for the currency amid rising geopolitical
frictions abroad and political concerns at home.
    The real firmed 1.4 percent to the strongest in
nearly two weeks after the central bank sold $800 million worth
of currency swaps, which function like dollar sales to investors
for future delivery, to roll over contracts expiring next month.
    Should the bank maintain that pace of sales daily until the
end of the month, it will fully roll over $6.4 billion worth of
swaps set to mature on March 2. The central bank currently holds
around $17.7 billion worth of swaps on its balance sheet.
    The move comes as escalating frictions between the United
States and North Korea depressed investor appetite for
high-yielding, emerging market assets. 
    U.S. Vice President Mike Pence warned on Monday that recent
U.S. military strikes in Syria and Afghanistan show that the
resolve of President Donald Trump should not be tested, a day
after a failed missile test by North Korea.
    Demand for the Brazilian currency also wavered in recent
days due to uncertainty over the approval of a planned pension
reform following corruption investigations against senior
members of President Michel Temer's administration.
    Other Latin American currencies seesawed on Monday as
investors remained weary of the geopolitical tensions. The
Mexican peso slipped from a five-month peak, but the
Chilean peso followed copper prices higher.

    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1530 GMT:
 Stock indexes                                daily %   YTD %
                                               change  change
 MSCI Emerging Markets                962.33      0.2   11.38
 MSCI LatAm                          2638.96     1.28   11.32
 Brazil Bovespa                     63817.50     1.58    5.96
 Mexico IPC                         49066.69     0.23    7.50
 Chile IPSA                          4853.60     -0.1   16.92
 Chile IGPA                         24343.38    -0.07   17.41
 Argentina MerVal                   20753.58    -0.28   22.67
 Colombia IGBC                      10162.69    -0.86    0.34
 Venezuela IBC                      47196.37     0.35   48.86
 Currencies                                   daily %   YTD %
                                               change  change
 Brazil real                          3.1023     1.39    4.74
 Mexico peso                         18.5600    -0.34   11.77
 Chile peso                              646     0.64    3.82
 Colombia peso                       2852.57     0.44    5.22
 Peru sol                               3.25     0.12    5.05
 Argentina peso (interbank)          15.2300    -0.26    4.24
 Argentina peso (parallel)             15.76    -0.44    6.73

 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Dan Grebler)
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