December 20, 2018 / 1:46 PM / 8 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies rise; Mexico peso at 6-week high on rate hike bets

    By Agamoni Ghosh
    Dec 20 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies rose on
Thursday with Mexico's peso hitting a 6-week high against the
U.S. dollar which fell to a one-month low on concerns over
future possible interest rate hikes by U.S. policymakers amid
slowing growth.
    The Mexican peso jumped 1.3 percent ahead of a Banco
de Mexico (Banxico) meeting where officials are expected to hike
interest rates by 25 basis points to 8.25 percent, its highest
since August 2008 on expectations of rising inflation pressures.
    The U.S. Federal Reserve raised borrowing costs by 25 basis
points on Wednesday and reduced its forecast from three to two
rate hikes next year, but said strong data may force it to raise
rates to the point where they begin to slow the U.S. economy.
    "People are worried about growth and to hear the Fed isn’t
(worried) concerns the market," said Jorge Mariscal, emerging
markets chief investment officer, UBS global wealth management.
    Brazil's real hit a one-week high while the Bovespa
index rose 0.9 percent, bucking a global sell-off trend
as gains in material and financial firms offset losses by energy
firms. 
    Airline stocks including Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes
 were up after the Brazilian Association of Airline
Companies said demand for flights in Brazil grew in November.

    State-controlled oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro <PETR4.SA >
was among the few losers after crude prices hit their lowest
levels in more than a year on Thursday.
    The Chilean peso rose 0.5 percent amid a slight
rebound in the price of copper, the country's main export.
    
 Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1325 GMT 
    
 Stock indexes                             daily %     YTD %
                               Latest       change    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets            963.59     -0.42    -16.47
                                                    
 MSCI LatAm                      2548.71      0.87    -10.66
                                                    
 Brazil Bovespa                 86402.99      0.85     13.09
                                                    
 Mexico IPC                            -         -         -
                                                    
 Chile IPSA                      5093.41     -0.32     -0.32
                                                    
 Argentina MerVal                      -         -         -
                                                    
 Colombia IGBC                         -         -         -
                                                    
                                                            
 Currencies                                daily %     YTD %
                                            change    change
                                  Latest            
 Brazil real                      3.8458      1.29    -13.85
                                                    
 Mexico peso                     19.8780      1.16     -0.90
                                                    
 Chile peso                        686.7      0.45    -10.49
                                                    
 Colombia peso                         -         -         -
 Peru sol                              -         -         -
                                                    
 Argentina peso (interbank)            -         -         -
                                                    
 

 (Reporting by Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru; Additional reporting
by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Bernadette Baum)
  
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