May 11, 2017 / 5:23 PM / 10 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-LatAm currencies up for 2nd day on commodities, dollar weakness

    By Bruno Federowski
    SAO PAULO, May 11 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies
strengthened for a second day on Thursday, lifted by higher
commodity prices and worldwide weakness in the U.S. dollar.
    The Chilean and Colombian pesos firmed 0.2
percent and 0.5 percent, tracking key prices of exports copper
and crude, respectively. Oil futures rose sharply following a
drawdown in U.S. inventories and a bigger-than-expected cut in
Saudi supplies to Asia.
    The U.S. currency has struggled to gain traction after
President Donald Trump unexpectedly fired FBI director James
Comey on Tuesday, fueling expectations of delays in the
implementation of the government's economic agenda.
    Trump's pledges to cut taxes and increase spending had
fostered expectations of inflationary pressures that could force
the U.S. Federal Reserve to increase interest rates faster
following a widely expected hike next month.
    The Mexican peso, which was battered last year as
Trump threatened to end the North American Free Trade Agreement,
was the biggest gainer in the region. It strengthened by 0.8
percent as the pact’s renegotiation appeared to draw closer.
    Trump's nominee for U.S. Trade Representative, a critical
position ahead of renegotiation of the trade deal, passed a key
procedural hurdle in the U.S. Senate on Thursday. 
    Delays in Senate confirmation of Robert Lighthizer more than
100 days after his nomination have set back the Trump
administration’s trade agenda by months, including the start of
NAFTA talks.
    Late last month, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo
told Reuters the timetable was tight for NAFTA negotiations. He
said they needed to be wrapped up by spring 2018 due to
elections later that year in Mexico and the United States.

    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1630 GMT:
 Stock indexes                                 daily   YTD %
                                                   %  change
                                   Latest     change  
 MSCI Emerging Markets               1001.18    0.61    15.4
 MSCI LatAm                          2686.65    0.38   14.34
 Brazil Bovespa                     67607.65    0.38   12.25
 Mexico IPC                         49609.43   -0.64    8.69
 Chile IPSA                          4808.55   -0.35   15.83
 Chile IGPA                         24117.72   -0.35   16.32
 Argentina MerVal                   21508.71       0   27.14
 Colombia IGBC                      10543.18    0.01    4.10
 Venezuela IBC                      60624.57   -0.05   91.21
 Currencies                                    daily   YTD %
                                                   %  change
                                      Latest  change  
 Brazil real                          3.1487    0.56    3.19
 Mexico peso                         18.8625    0.81    9.97
 Chile peso                            671.8    0.15   -0.16
 Colombia peso                          2928    0.44    2.51
 Peru sol                              3.285    0.24    3.93
 Argentina peso (interbank)          15.4300    0.58    2.88
 Argentina peso (parallel)             15.88    0.38    5.92

 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski Editing by W Simon)
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