RIO DE JANEIRO, July 26 Latin American
currencies weakened on Friday as stronger-than-expected U.S.
economic data fueled fears of an early withdrawal of stimulus
measures by the Federal Reserve, while lingering concerns about
the Chinese economy hit the outlook for commodity exporters.
U.S. consumer sentiment rose in July to its highest level in
six years, according to a survey, providing yet another argument
for the Federal Reserve to cut down on a stimulus program that
for years has supported appetite for emerging market currencies.
Despite growing fears in Latin American markets about the
future of U.S. stimulus, investors in global bond and currency
markets speculated that the Fed may signal at the end of its
two-day monetary policy meeting on Wednesday that its
bond-buying program should remain in place for longer.
* The Brazilian real lost 0.7 percent even
after the central bank sold 20,000 traditional currency swaps,
derivative contracts that emulate a sale of dollars in the
* With Friday's auction, Brazil's central bank concluded the
rollover of 114,300 swaps that expire on Aug. 1. It also placed
5,700 new swap contracts maturing on Jan. 2, 2014.
* The Mexican peso lost 0.4 percent, also hurt by
central bank minutes showing that policymakers are ready to cut
interest rates if growth keeps slowing.
* The Chilean peso dropped half a percentage
point as concerns about the Chinese economy drove down prices of
copper, Chile's main export product.
Latin American FX prices at 2005 GMT:
Currencies Daily YTD pct
Brazil real 2.2549 -0.75 -9.53
Mexico peso 12.6670 -0.45 1.56
Chile peso 507.4000 -0.47 -5.66
Colombia peso 1885.2000 0.12 -6.32
Peru sol 2.7830 0.07 -8.34
Argentina peso 5.4800 0.00 -10.36
Argentina peso 8.6200 0.46 -21.35