February 15, 2019 / 10:14 PM / 3 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam FX up on dovish Fed talk; Mexican peso capped by Pemex

 (Recasts; updates prices, adds quotes by local broker and
    By Aaron Saldanha
    Feb 15 (Reuters) - Most Latin American currencies firmed on
Friday against a dollar softened by dovish comments by the
president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank while Latin
American stocks broadly gained, riding a global wave of optimism
on hopes of a U.S.-China trade deal.
    Risk appetite towards Latin America was broadly boosted by
Mary Daly suggesting the U.S. Federal Reserve may hold off on
raising borrowing costs in 2019. Her comments sparked strong
gains among most regional currencies barring Mexico's peso
, which eked out a 0.1 percent rise.
    Mexican officials said the government would infuse $3.6
billion into ailing state oil firm Pemex, aiming to bolster its
finances and avert a further credit downgrade. Investors,
however, saw the plan as only a short-term fix.
    A broker at the local bourse said there was a feeling the
proposal was not as solid as what some analysts were expecting.
Daly's comments enabled the peso to wipe away the losses it
incurred after the announcement on Pemex.
    Ratings agency Fitch - which double-downgraded Pemex's
credit rating last month to the last rung of investment grade -
said the measures "would likely not be enough to prevent
continued deterioration in company's credit quality."

    Refinitiv Eikon data showed peso trading volumes shot up to
about 180 percent of their normal levels at some points in
trade. Mexico's finance minister said the government would do
"whatever it takes" to maintain healthy Pemex finances.

    Mexican stocks rose for a second consecutive day for
the first time in about a month, clocking a 0.6 percent gain,
with materials stocks among the props to the main index higher. 
    Brazil's real clocked a 0.6 percent gain, on the back
of the weak dollar, while local stocks dropped half a
percent to give back some of Thursday's 2.3 percent gain.
Investors await the government's pension reform proposal to
reach the country's congress next week. 
    Strong oil prices were an insufficient support to
state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA, whose common shares
 and preferred shares slid 0.8 percent and
0.4 percent, respectively.        
    Argentina's stocks benchmark rose 0.2 percent, while
the country's peso softened as traders took advantage of
the soft greenback to hedge their exposures.
    Colombia's peso firmed half a percent while the
country's stocks rose 0.8 percent, helped up by an
oil-fuelled 3 percent gain in the shares of Ecopetrol SA
    Chile's peso rose 0.4 percent tracking a gain in the
price of copper, the country's top export.    
  Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2146 GMT:
 Stock indexes                                   daily %
                                     Latest       change
 MSCI Emerging Markets                 1030.64     -0.82
 MSCI LatAm                            2882.68      0.79
 Brazil Bovespa                       97525.91      -0.5
 Mexico IPC                           42988.72      0.62
 Chile IPSA                            5399.83      0.44
 Argentina MerVal                     37469.97      0.23
 Colombia IGBC                        12098.72       0.8
 Currencies                                      daily %
 Brazil real                            3.7007      0.03
 Mexico peso                           19.2550      0.01
 Chile peso                              661.8      0.33
 Colombia peso                          3131.5      0.56
 Peru sol                                3.326      0.33
 Argentina peso (interbank)            38.5800     -0.93
 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru and Noe Torres in
Mexico City
Editing by Marguerita Choy)
Nuestros Estándares:Los principios Thomson Reuters
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