EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks follow global rise; currencies up on U.S. data

Tue May 13, 2014 1:52pm EDT

SAO PAULO, May 13 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks tracked
global markets higher on Tuesday, while currencies strengthened
against the dollar after weak retail sales data from the United
States.
    The MSCI Latin American stock index rose for
a second straight day, with Brazil's Bovespa index up
0.23 percent and Mexico's IPC index gaining 0.65 percent.
Chile's IPSA index was little changed.
    Local stocks took their cue from markets abroad, with nearly
every major U.S and European index in positive territory. The
S&P 500 index topped the 1,900 mark for the first time. 
    Shares of brewer Ambev SA helped boost Brazil's
Bovespa after the government announced a three-month delay in a
planned tax hike on beer and soft drinks. After the
announcement, the shares reversed early losses to gain 1.3
percent.
    Mexican stocks rose for a second straight day, led by a 3
percent gain in lender Santander Mexico. Shares of
cement maker Cemex recovered from early losses to
trade nearly unchanged, a day after Lorenzo Zambrano, who led
the company for three decades, died suddenly. 
    Most of the region's currencies strengthened after data
showed U.S. retail sales grew more slowly than expected in
April. The data reduces the probability of an
earlier-than-expected increase in U.S. interest rates, which
would hurt local currencies, said Pedro Tuesta, an economist
with 4CAST in Washington, D.C. 
    The Brazilian real strengthened for the fifth session
in six, while yields on Brazilian interest rate futures <0#DIJ:>
fell across the curve.
    Central bank director Luiz Awazu Pereira said on Tuesday
that Brazil's recent interest-rate hikes were "sizable" and will
help lower inflation, reinforcing signs that policymakers will
hold rates where they are this month. 
    The Mexican peso made up for the previous two
sessions' losses, while Colombia's peso weakened.
    Colombia's treasury plans to buy dollars in the foreign
exchange market to limit the strength of the peso, Finance
Minister Mauricio Cardenas said on Tuesday. 
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1726 GMT:
    
 Stock indexes                             daily %     YTD %
                               Latest       change    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets           1023.45      0.75      1.31
                                                    
 MSCI LatAm                      3405.75      0.63      5.74
                                                    
 Brazil Bovespa                 54179.58      0.23      5.19
                                                    
 Mexico IPC                     42358.57      0.65     -0.86
                                                    
 Chile IPSA                      3930.74      0.27      6.26
                                                    
 Chile IGPA                     19238.58      0.12      5.55
                                                    
 Argentina MerVal                6873.36      0.43     27.50
                                                    
 Colombia IGBC                  13665.19      -0.2      4.54
                                                    
 Peru IGRA                       16055.3     -0.36      1.91
                                                    
 Venezuela IBC                   2178.42     -4.85    -20.40
                                                    
                                                            
 Currencies                                daily %     YTD %
                                            change    change
                                  Latest            
 Brazil real                      2.2090      0.25      6.69
                                                    
 Mexico peso                     12.9287      0.18      0.78
                                                    
 Chile peso                        548.6      0.47     -4.10
                                                    
 Colombia peso                   1920.54     -0.38      0.60
 Peru sol                          2.783      0.14      0.36
                                                    
 Argentina peso (interbank)       8.0200     -0.09    -19.05
                                                    
 Argentina peso (parallel)         10.75     -0.37     -6.98
                                                    
 
        

 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski and Asher Levine; Editing by
Leslie Adler)
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