July 12, 2019 / 7:01 PM / a year ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies climb to 15-month high on Fed optimism

 (Updates prices, adds quote)
    By Agamoni Ghosh
    July 12 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies scaled a
15-month high on Friday as hopes of an interest rate cut by the
U.S. Federal Reserve later this month boosted investor
confidence, while stock indices in the region were subdued.
   MSCI's index of Latin American currencies
touched its highest levels since April 2018 with Brazil's real
 holding at over three-month highs as investors welcomed
progress in the government's pension reform bill.
    Mexico's peso which had a shaky week after the abrupt
resignation of the finance minister managed to recover most of
its losses, ending the week flat. The Colombian and
Chilean peso both rose 0.2%.  
    "The real is by far the strongest currency, but dollar
softness and higher commodity prices have helped COP and CLP
make gains too," said Kit Juckes, macro strategist at Societe
Generale in a note.  
    "The laggard, reacting to the departure of the Finance
Minister, is Mexico's peso." 
    Emerging markets assets have had a strong run this year as
trade disputes taking their toll on global growth led to
expectations that major central banks would turn dovish, helping
inflows into high-yielding, developing world assets.
    Stock indexes in the region were more mixed with Sao
Paulo-traded stocks running out of steam as the euphoria
over the passage of the pension reform bill was not enough to
sustain gains. 
     Brazil's lower house will try to conclude voting on the
landmark pension reform bill before breaking for recess on July
18, speaker Rodrigo Maia said on Friday.
    Mexican stocks slid 0.4%, while those in Chile
 were marginally lower. Argentina's benchmark index
 bucked the trend to rise 0.6%, while the country's peso
 inched 0.3% higher. 
 Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1845 GMT
 Stock indexes                  Latest      Daily %
 MSCI Emerging Markets            1,053.11    -0.19
 MSCI LatAm                       2,966.25     0.31
 Brazil Bovespa                 104,818.87    -0.31
 Mexico IPC                      42,730.24    -0.35
 Chile IPSA                       5,074.18    -0.01
 Argentina MerVal                43,119.80     0.61
 Colombia IGBC                   12,986.59    -0.14
 Currencies                         Latest  Daily %
 Brazil real                        3.7338     0.46
 Mexico peso                       19.0110     0.31
 Chile peso                         679.33     0.10
 Colombia peso                    3,190.75     0.19
 Peru sol                            3.283     0.06
 Argentina peso (interbank)        41.5800     0.34

 (Reporting by Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru
Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
Nuestros Estándares:Los principios Thomson Reuters
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