July 14, 2017 / 5:06 PM / a year ago

EMERGING MARKETS-LatAm currencies up after weak U.S. inflation, retail data

    By Bruno Federowski
    SAO PAULO, July 14 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies
strengthened on Friday after weaker-than-expected U.S. economic
data reduced bets on a third U.S. interest rate increase this
    U.S. consumer prices were unchanged in June and retail sales
fell for a second straight month, the latest in a batch of mixed
reports that have kept traders skeptical over the Fed's stated
plan for one more rate increase this year and three times in
    On Thursday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said it would be "quite
challenging" for the United States to reach the 3 percent growth
target set by President Donald Trump.
    A slower pace of policy tightening could boost the allure of
high-yielding emerging market assets, driving up the value of
their currencies. The Mexican peso  strengthened for
the seventh straight day, while the Brazilian real firmed
0.8 percent.
    Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index posted its
fifth day of gains, with shares of engineering firm MRV
Engenharia e Participações SA the biggest riser after
posting solid growth in sales and launches in the second
    Shares of Cia Energética de Minas Gerais SA,
Brazil's No. 3 power utility, rose 3.3 percent after it closed a
deal to transfer stakes in Transmineiras to Transmissora Aliança
de Energia Elétrica, known as Taesa.
     Cemig, as the utility is known, jointly controls Taesa with
Brazilian investment fund Coliseu. The utility is looking to
sell assets to cut debt.
    Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1700 GMT:
 Stock indexes                                daily %    YTD %
                                               change   change
 MSCI Emerging Markets               1048.05      0.7     20.7
 MSCI LatAm                          2712.73     0.94    14.82
 Brazil Bovespa                     65351.15     0.27     8.51
 Mexico S&P/BVM IPC                 50903.48    -0.13    11.53
 Chile IPSA                          4987.71     0.03    20.15
 Chile IGPA                         24903.08      0.1    20.11
 Argentina MerVal                   21917.86    -0.27    29.55
 Colombia IGBC                      11017.93    -0.86     8.79
 Venezuela IBC                     129132.27     0.81   307.29
 Currencies                                   daily %    YTD %
                                               change   change
 Brazil real                          3.1836     0.75     2.06
 Mexico peso                         17.5655     0.65    18.10
 Chile peso                              657     0.55     2.09
 Colombia peso                          3016     0.99    -0.48
 Argentina peso (interbank)          16.8300     0.73    -5.67
 Argentina peso (parallel)             17.52     0.46    -4.00
 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; editing by Grant McCool)
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