December 27, 2018 / 10:17 PM / 2 years ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies gain against weak dollar; stocks mixed

 (Updates prices)
    * Mexico's peso at seven-week high 
    * Argentina's MerVal index climbs more than 3 pct 
    * Mexican IPC index falls 
    * Chile's peso hits lowest level in nearly three years 

    Dec 27 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies rose, taking
advantage of a weak dollar on Thursday, while stock indexes in
the region were mixed as global equities lost steam after a fall
in Chinese industrial profits and U.S. consumer confidence
weighed on global growth concerns. 
    Mexico's peso hit a seven week high, pushing MSCI's
index for Latin American currencies higher as
the U.S. dollar gave up most of the previous session's gains
with investors turning to the Japanese yen and Swiss
franc for safety.
    Volatility returned to U.S. markets, with stocks tumbling
before closing higher following Wall Street's rally on
Wednesday, the biggest in nearly a decade.
    Emerging market assets have been notably quiet compared to
the considerable volatility in the U.S. as markets price in a
"catching down" of growth expectations more in line with the
ex-U.S. slowdown that we have seen throughout the year,
according to a Goldman Sachs analysts note. 
    Stocks in Latin America were mixed, with Mexico's benchmark
index falling 0.4 percent tracking Wall Street's earlier
decline but Buenos Aires' Merval index rising more than
3 percent, its best day in nearly two months, after data showed
the country's current account deficit for the third quarter
narrowed compared to last year.
    Brazil's Bovespa index also rose, rebounding from
2-month lows led by gains in the banking sector, while the real
 rose for the first time in a week. 
    Shares of Banco Itaú Unibanco were up 1.6 percent
after the release of official figures on bank credit and
delinquency in Brazil, while utility giant Eletrobras
, which jumped 6 percent, was the largest gainer on
the index. 
    The Chilean peso was among the few losing currencies,
closing at its lowest level in almost three years, pressured by
purchases of foreign currency by banks and institutional funds. 
    The county's stock market closed a shade higher
after a volatile session, supported by the increase in shares of
LATAM Airlines. 

    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2120 GMT
 Stock indexes                             daily %     YTD %
                               Latest       change    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets            953.23      0.32    -17.98
 MSCI LatAm                      2516.68      1.12       -12
 Brazil Bovespa                 85460.20      0.30     11.86
 Mexico IPC                     41440.03     -0.42    -16.04
 Chile IPSA                      5070.65      0.16      0.16
 Argentina MerVal               29519.37      3.67     -1.82
 Colombia IGBC                  11172.19      0.28     -1.75
 Currencies                                daily %     YTD %
                                            change    change
 Brazil real                      3.8732      0.53    -14.46
 Mexico peso                     19.6647      1.20      0.17
 Chile peso                        696.5     -0.43    -11.75
 Colombia peso                      3273      0.29     -8.89
 Peru sol                           3.37      0.06     -3.95
 Argentina peso (interbank)      38.3000      0.78    -51.44

 (Reporting by Agamoni Ghosh
Editing by Phil Berlowitz
Nuestros Estándares:Los principios Thomson Reuters
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