EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies slip on Europe woes, Fed minutes
* Real falls 0.51 pct on weak economic data * Mexican peso dips 0.73, as Fed minutes hint at tightening By Alexandra Alper and Jean Arce MEXICO CITY, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies cooled on Wednesday as a strike in Greece and weak Italian data renewed concerns of stagnation in the euro zone and U.S. Federal Reserve minutes suggested the central bank may slow or stop buying bonds sooner than expected. Tens of thousands of Greeks took to the streets of Athens as part of a nationwide strike against austerity, while data showed Italian industrial orders fell in December. "The news out of Europe rekindles ever-present themes of insolvency in these nations," which dampens risk appetite, said Enrique Alvarez, an economist at IDEAglobal. The Brazilian real fell 0.51 percent to trade at 1.9645 per dollar after data showed weaker-than-expected economic activity in December and the central bank hinted it was not ready to raise rates to tackle inflation. "You are still sort of lifting the curtain up on different metrics related to where Brazil stood at the end of last year and they are not good," Alvarez said. Data on Wednesday showed Brazil's fragile economic recovery lost steam in December, rounding out a second straight year of frustrating growth and casting doubts on a steady rebound going forward. Central Bank President Alexandre Tombini on Tuesday said the bank is ready to "adjust" monetary policy if needed, but he added that inflation is not spiraling out of control, reinforcing the view that the bank is not going to take any action just yet. Still, Alvarez said he expects the real could get as strong as 1.90 per dollar in the next two to three months as the central bank lets the currency appreciate. The Mexican peso fell 0.73 percent to 12.7230 per dollar, after Federal Reserve minutes showed a number of officials think the bank might have to slow or stop buying bonds before seeing the pickup in hiring the program is designed to deliver. The Fed's easy monetary policy has supported riskier assets but further signs that U.S. policymakers could tighten policy could sap demand for assets such as emerging market stocks. "You realize in the minutes that there is a certain division, it's a minority but each time stronger, of officials that are in favor of ending this bond buying program," said Jorge Gordillo, an analyst at CI Banco in Mexico City. He added that the peso could weaken to 12.90 per dollar by the end of the month. Latin American FX prices at 23:55 GMT: Currencies daily YTD % % change change Latest Brazil real 1.9645 -0.51 3.84 Mexico peso 12.7230 -0.73 1.10 Chile peso 473.000 -0.23 1.21 0 Colombia peso 1792.20 -0.08 -1.46 00 Peru sol 2.5820 -0.04 -1.20 Argentina peso 5.0200 -0.15 -2.14 Argentina peso 7.7900 -1.16 -12.97
- Man called Bitcoin's father denies ties, leads LA car chase
- Florida mayor fights backyard gun ranges in 'Gunshine State'
- Ukraine standoff intensifies, Russia says sanctions will 'boomerang' |
- Apple loses bid for U.S. ban on Samsung smartphone sales
- 'Everything is fine', Pistorius told guard after shooting girlfriend |