EMERGING MARKETS-Latam FX steady near highs ahead of Fed minutes

Wed May 21, 2014 12:29pm EDT

MEXICO CITY, May 21 (Reuters) - Latin American markets were
little changed on Wednesday ahead of the release of minutes from
the Federal Reserve's last meeting, with currencies trading near
recent highs backed by bets of a slow withdrawal of U.S.
stimulus.
    Mexico's peso dipped slightly to trade at 12.9150 per
dollar after hitting a five-month high last week. 
    Brazil's real firmed 0.2 percent to 2.2113 per
dollar. It has been trading in a narrow range since hitting a
more than five-month high in April following a recent cycle of
interest rate hikes that have boosted the real's appeal.
    Minutes from the Fed's April policy meeting could suggest
the central bank will raise interest rates more slowly than
expected, which would support demand for higher-yielding
emerging market assets.  
    The FOMC minutes are set for release at 2:00 pm EDT (1800
GMT).
    The MSCI Latin American stock index rose 0.6
percent, bouncing back after a drop in the previous session on a
slump in Chilean stocks. MSCI's broader emerging equity index
 edged up to hold near 6-1/2 month highs.
    Brazil's Bovespa stock index rose 0.37 percent,
rebounding from a three-week low hit in the previous session.
    A closely watched Brazilian electoral poll is due Thursday.
Recent polls showing a decline in President Dilma Rousseff's
approval rating ahead of October's election have driven big
gains in the stock market as shareholders hold out hope for a
more market-friendly administration.
    Mexican stocks were little changed, while Chilean markets
were closed for a holiday.
    
  Latin American markets at 1900 GMT:  
                                                   
                                             
 Stock indexes                      daily %   YTD %
                          Latest     change  change
 MSCI LatAm              3,328.99      0.52    3.47
                                             
 Brazil Bovespa         52,712.80      0.66    2.34
                                             
 Mexico IPC             41,810.22      0.01   -2.15
                                             
 Chile IPSA              3,881.35     -1.37    4.92
                                             
 Chile IGPA             19,029.89     -1.17    4.40
                                             
 Argentina MerVal        7,141.41     -1.06   32.47
                                             
 Colombia IGBC          13,499.82      0.20    3.28
                                             
 Peru IGRA              15,647.40     -0.18   -0.67
                                             
 Venezuela IBC           2,188.40     -0.06  -20.03
                                             
                                                   
 Currencies                         daily %   YTD %
                                     change  change
                           Latest            
 Brazil real               2.2113      0.20    6.59
                                             
 Mexico peso              12.9160     -0.05    0.88
                                             
 Chile peso              552.8000   Closed    -4.83
                                             
 Colombia peso          1908.2500      0.70    1.24
                                             
 Peru sol                  2.7860      0.11    0.25
                                             
 Argentina peso            8.0600      0.03  -19.45
 (interbank)                                 
                                             
 Argentina peso           11.8400     -0.59  -15.54
 (parallel)                                  
                                             
                                                   
 
 (Reporting by Michael O'Boyle; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)
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