April 6, 2017 / 5:37 PM / a year ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies seesaw ahead of U.S. jobs data

    SAO PAULO, April 6 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies
seesawed on Thursday ahead of the release of key U.S. jobs data,
which could yield fresh hints over the pace of interest rate
hikes in the country.
    New applications for U.S. unemployment benefits recorded
their biggest drop in nearly two years last week, pointing to a
further tightening in the labor market.
    But claims rose during the survey week for March nonfarm
payrolls, set to be released on Friday, suggesting some
moderation in the pace of job growth after two straight months
of solid gains.
    The Fed has pointed to a trajectory of two rate increases by
the end of the year, which could potentially dampen the allure
of high-yielding emerging market assets.
    The Mexican peso strengthened 0.5 percent, while
the Brazilian real weakened 0.1 percent.
    Sentiment was mixed in Brazilian markets after President
Michel Temer authorized changes to a planned pension reform to
ease lawmakers' resistance to the controversial bill.

    While the changes would likely increase the chance of
approval, they could also mean less fiscal austerity, weakening
Temer's efforts to balance Brazil's budget.
    Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index slipped 0.1
    Losses were limited by rising shares of college operators
Kroton Educacional SA and Estácio Participações SA
 after antitrust regulator extended the deadline for a
ruling on a tie-up between both companies.
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1730 GMT:
 Stock indexes                  Latest        Daily     YTD
                                                pct     pct
                                             change  change
 MSCI Emerging Markets              964.36     -0.5    12.4
 MSCI LatAm                       2,650.55    -0.65   13.98
 Brazil Bovespa                  64,722.46    -0.08    7.46
 Mexico IPC                      48,873.55    -0.68    7.08
 Chile IPSA                       4,892.91     0.41   17.86
 Chile IGPA                      24,473.28      0.4   18.03
 Argentina MerVal                20,890.61        1   23.48
 Colombia IGBC                   10,183.09    -0.11    0.54
 Venezuela IBC                   45,814.20      0.7   44.50
 Currencies                         Latest    Daily     YTD
                                                pct     pct
                                             change  change
 Brazil real                        3.1174    -0.12    4.23
 Mexico peso                       18.7340     0.50   10.73
 Chile peso                          656.5     0.26    2.16
 Colombia peso                    2,856.75     0.08    5.07
 Peru sol                            3.249    -0.06    5.08
 Argentina peso (interbank)        15.4000    -0.24    3.08
 Argentina peso (parallel)           15.82     0.38    6.32

 (Editing by Tom Brown)
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