EMERGING MARKETS-Latam FX gains with US stocks, Brazil real flat

Wed Jan 9, 2013 2:59pm EST

* Good start to U.S. earnings season spark risk appetite
    * Real muted on perception that central bank doesn't want it
stronger
    * Brazil real closes unchanged; Mexican peso gains 0.5
percent

    By Danielle Fonseca
    SAO PAULO, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies rose
on Wednesday as a good start to the U.S. earnings season
encouraged investors to take risk in emerging markets, although
the Brazilian real was little changed on the perception that
policymakers do not want a much stronger currency.
    The Mexican peso climbed 0.5 percent to 12.7349 per
U.S. dollar, leading gains in the region, as U.S. stocks 
rose after two days of declines.
    The Chilean peso climbed a quarter of a percentage
point, resuming a gaining trend that had been interrupted on
Tuesday by comments from Finance Minister Felipe Larrain, who
said the government and the central bank may come up with
"coordinated action" to prevent the currency from gaining
further.
    "The market was calmer today after the finance minister's
verbal intervention," said Carlos Martinez, head of the money
desk of Vantrust Capital in Santiago. "The economic fundamentals
and interest rate differentials suggest that the peso will
continue to appreciate."
    The Chilean peso has rallied more than 1 percent in the
first few days of 2013, on top of gains of nearly 8.5 percent in
2012.
    The Brazilian real  ended practically stable at
2.0366 per dollar, right in the central bank's comfort zone.
    Brazilian policymakers intervened heavily at the end of 2012
to strengthen the real beyond 2.05 per dollar. Still, investors
believe that policymakers want the real to remain weaker than
two per dollar to support industry.
    "The real will likely remain around 2.03 per dollar, driven
by dollar inflows but without any meaningful rallies," said
Italo dos Santos, a currency specialist with Icap brokerage.
            
    Latin American FX prices at 1945 GMT:
    
 Currencies                       daily %    YTD %
                                   change   change
                          Latest           
 Brazil real              2.0366     0.03     0.01
                                           
 Mexico peso             12.7349     0.53     1.02
                                           
 Argentina peso*          7.1000    -0.70    -4.51
                                           
 Chile peso             471.0000     0.25     1.63
                                           
 Colombia peso        1,768.7500     0.18    -0.16
                                           
 Peru sol                 2.5500    -0.12     0.04
                                           
 * Argentine peso's rate between                  
 brokerages
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