By Mitra Taj and Miguel Gutierrez
MEXICO CITY, April 21 Mexico's peso eased on
Friday amid global jitters over the French election, posting its
worst weekly loss since the start of the year.
Markets braced for the first round of the French
presidential election on Sunday ahead of a runoff between the
top two candidates on May 7.
In Mexico, Latin America's No.2 economy, the stock index
also weakened ahead of first-quarter earnings that many
Mexican companies will report next week.
The Mexican peso dipped about 0.2 percent
to 18.81 per dollar, wracking up an about 1.6 percent loss for
the week as the currency pulled back from its strongest level
since the November election win of U.S. President Donald Trump.
Since slumping to a record low in January before his
inauguration, the peso has been the world's best-performing
major currency as fears moderated that Trump's policies would
hurt Mexico's trade and investment in its factories.
Earlier this week, the currency gave up ground to the dollar
following aggressive comments by Trump, who again threatened to
ditch the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) if he
could not make "very big changes" to it.
Markets in Brazil were closed on Friday for a holiday.
The Chilean and Colombian pesos also fell as the dollar
strengthened globally on Friday as traders squared up positions
ahead of the weekend.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2050 GMT:
Stock indexes daily YTD %
MSCI Emerging Markets 961.78 0.35 11.54
MSCI LatAm 2602.62 -0.26 11.19
Brazil Bovespa 63760.62 0.56 5.87
Mexico IPC 48967.83 -0.36 7.28
Chile IPSA 4809.47 0.09 15.85
Chile IGPA 24160.77 0.11 16.53
Argentina MerVal 20768.98 0.48 22.76
Colombia IGBC 10101.37 -0.2 -0.26
Venezuela IBC 49287.67 3.34 55.46
Currencies daily YTD %
Brazil real 3.1475 Closed 3.23
Mexico peso 18.81 -0.14 10.24
Chile peso 652.2 -0.41 2.84
Colombia peso 2874 -0.84 4.44
Peru sol 3.242 0.03 5.31
Argentina peso (interbank) 15.4500 -0.39 2.75
Argentina peso (parallel) 16.04 0.31 4.86
(Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Cynthia Oserman)