EMERGING MARKETS-Mexico peso weakens on U.S. data; real flat

Mon Apr 1, 2013 3:47pm EDT

* U.S. manufacturing data for March weaker than expected
    * Investors alert for possible c.bank intervention in Brazil
    * Mexico peso drops 0.4 pct; Brazil real unchanged

    SAO PAULO, April 1 (Reuters) - Mexico's peso fell on Monday
after weaker-than-expected U.S. manufacturing data weighed on
the outlook for Mexican exports, while other Latin American
currencies were little changed in slow post-Easter trading.
    The Mexican peso lost 0.4 percent after U.S.
private-sector data showed national factory activity grew at the
slowest rate in three months in March. The data suggested a
slowdown in the economy of the United States, which is the main
destination of Mexico's exports. 
    The Brazilian real  was unchanged from Friday
at 2.02 per dollar as investors feared the central bank could
intervene in the market again if the currency weakened further.
On Thursday, before the long Easter weekend, the real ended at a
more than two-month low.
    Many analysts believe the Brazilian central bank wants the
real to remain within a tight range of 1.95 reais to around 2
reais per dollar -- slightly stronger than it was at the end of
2012 -- to avoid inflation pass-through.
    "The central bank monitors that band very closely, and if it
sees some sort of speculation in the market, it will likely
intervene again," said Joao Medeiros, a director at Pioneer
brokerage in Sao Paulo.
    Brazilian policymakers last intervened in the market on
Wednesday, when the real neared the level of 2.03 per dollar.
    Trading volumes were thin in Brazil and in other Latin
American foreign exchange markets as European investors remained
on holiday.
    
    Latin American FX prices at 1932 GMT:
      
 Currencies                           Daily  YTD pct
                                        pct   change
                            Latest   change  
 Brazil real                2.0200     0.00     0.99
                                             
 Mexico peso               12.3565    -0.38     4.11
                                             
 Chile peso               472.5000    -0.19     1.31
                                             
 Colombia peso           1822.0600     0.16    -3.08
                                             
 Peru sol                   2.5890     0.04    -1.47
                                             
 Argentina peso             5.1200     0.00    -4.05

 Argentina peso             8.3800    -0.95   -19.09
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A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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