April 1, 2016 / 5:16 PM / in 2 years

EMERGING MARKETS-Most Latam currencies fall on U.S. data, Brazil real jumps

By Bruno Federowski
    SAO PAULO, April 1 (Reuters) - Most Latin American
currencies weakened on Friday after stronger-than-expected U.S.
employment data fostered bets that the Federal Reserve could
raise interest rates sooner than previously expected.
    The Brazilian real  bucked the trend, gaining
nearly 1 percent against the dollar after the police arrested
former leaders of the ruling Workers' Party as part of a
wide-spreading corruption probe. 
    The arrests dealt another blow to the party of leftist
President Dilma Rousseff, who is unpopular with many investors
and is the subject of impeachment proceedings in Congress.
    The belief that a change in government would prove more
investor friendly helped drive the real's 11 percent gain in
March, its best monthly performance in 13 years.
    Several other Latin American currencies, however, fell after
U.S. employment rose solidly and wages bounced back in March,
while factory activity rose in February. 
    Some traders bet that could allow the Fed to increase rates
later this year, possibly draining funds away from high-yielding
emerging markets. 
    Latin American currencies had rallied earlier this week
after Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the bank would be cautious in
tightening policy. 
    The Mexican peso  extended its slide for a
second day after Moody's downgraded state-controlled oil company
Pemex's rating to Baa3. 
    The credit ratings agency had cut its outlook for the
country's sovereign rating to negative on Thursday, citing a
possibility that the government could pour funds into Pemex.
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1635 GMT:
 Stock indexes                               daily %   YTD %
                                              change  change
 MSCI Emerging Markets               826.87    -1.19    5.37
 MSCI LatAm                         2150.56    -0.83   18.51
 Brazil Bovespa                    50128.24     0.15   15.64
 Mexico IPC                        45676.00    -0.45    6.28
 Chile IPSA                         3921.53    -0.41    6.56
 Chile IGPA                        19210.74    -0.45    5.84
 Argentina MerVal                  12981.28    -0.08   11.19
 Colombia IGBC                      9887.68     0.16   15.68
 Venezuela IBC                     14912.71     2.32    2.22
 Currencies                                  daily %   YTD %
                                              change  change
 Brazil real                         3.5582     0.99   10.93
 Mexico peso                        17.3145    -0.24   -0.49
 Chile peso                           669.2    -0.33    6.05
 Colombia peso                      3032.35    -1.08    4.52
 Peru sol                             3.336    -0.96    2.34
 Argentina peso (interbank)         14.6600     0.41  -11.44
 Argentina peso (parallel)            15.11     0.99   -5.56

 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by W Simon)
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