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EMERGING MARKETS-Mexico, Brazil FX end week down on Europe
May 11, 2012 / 10:41 PM / 5 years ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Mexico, Brazil FX end week down on Europe

* Greek political uncertainty weighs

* Mexico’s peso off 0.2 , Brazil’s real 0.1 pct weaker

By Rachel Uranga

MEXICO CITY, May 11 (Reuters) - The currencies of Mexico and Brazil logged weekly losses on Friday as investors fretted about turmoil in Greece and the possibility the country could exit the euro.

The Mexican peso ended 0.20 percent weaker. The Brazilian real finished 0.15 percent lower in i ts fifth consecutive week of losses.

Investors held off big bets in risky assets ahead of any further developments in the Greece saga over the weekend.

Politicians there are trying to overcome a deadlock that could force new elections where an anti-austerity, leftist candidate is favored. That has raised fears the country could ditch its international bailout deal.

Latin American currencies got an initial boost on Friday when a report showed the U.S. consumer sentiment index hit four-year highs in early May. The data helped offset jitters over Greece and news about a massive trading loss from Wall Street giant JP Morgan Chase & Co. [ID: nL1E8GBHUL]

JPMorgan said it lost at least $2 billion from a failed hedging strategy - an embarrassing failure for the finance sector with investors already nervous over the shaky health of banks in Spain.

Credit rating agency Fitch put the whole of the euro zone on notice that if Greece were to leave the currency bloc, the remaining countries could find their sovereign ratings at risk.

Global growth fears tend to steer investors away from riskier assets like Latin American currencies. Brazil tends to be particularly sensitive to economic indicators from China, a top trading partner, where data showed factory output slowed more than expected in April.

Brazil’s real lost around 1.1 percent this week.

In Mexico, the peso lost about 2.6 percent this week in one of its worst weekly performances since late November.

“Our expectation is that there will be an appreciation of the peso one week from now, especially given the magnitude of sell off of the first days of May,” said Ezequiel Aguirre, strategist at Bank of America-Merrill-Lynch.

Chile’s peso weakened 0.14 percent, to bid at 486.90 per dollar. It has lost 0.8 percent this week.

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