December 15, 2017 / 12:12 AM / 10 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil real sinks to 6-month low as pension vote delayed

 (Updates prices)
    By Bruno Federowski
    SAO PAULO, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Brazil's real on Thursday sank
to a nearly six-month low after lawmakers delayed a vote on a
bill to cut social security benefits that is seen as a key
measure to rein in the deficit.
    Mexico's peso sank nearly 0.8 percent, only briefly paring
losses after the country's central bank raised interest rates,
while Chile's peso gained more than 1 percent to a two-week
high, helped by rising prices for copper, the country's main
export. 
    Brazilian President Michel Temer had said he hoped for a
vote by Tuesday, but he has struggled to rally lawmaker support
for the unpopular pension cuts, which many investors consider
essential to reining in Brazil's surging public debt.
    Lower House Speaker Rodrigo Maia said the vote will now be
held on Feb. 19.
    Traders saw the move as reducing the likelihood of passing
the unpopular bill, as it puts the vote closer to October's
presidential and parliamentary elections.
    The Brazilian real shed more than 0.6 percent to
close at its weakest since late June.
    Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index fell nearly
0.7 percent, dragged down by blue-chip shares, such as oil
company Petróleo Brasileiro SA and lender Itaú
Unibanco Holding SA.
    Centrais Elétricas Brasileiras SA also
fell as traders feared putting off the pension reform vote could
delay the process of privatizing the state-controlled power
utility.
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2310 GMT:
     
 Stock indexes                       daily %    YTD %
                            Latest    change   change
 MSCI Emerging Markets      1121.22     0.22    30.03
                                              
 MSCI LatAm                 2706.15    -0.96    15.62
                                              
 Brazil Bovespa            72428.93    -0.67    20.26
                                              
 Mexico IPC                48222.38    -0.11     5.65
                                              
 Chile IPSA                 5119.30    -0.31    23.32
                                              
 Chile IGPA                25682.70    -0.38    23.87
                                              
 Argentina MerVal          27139.10     0.39    60.42
                                              
 Colombia IGBC             11095.89    -0.02     9.56
                                              
 Venezuela IBC              1265.50     0.63   -96.01
                                              
                                                     
 Currencies                          daily %    YTD %
                                      change   change
                             Latest           
 Brazil real                 3.3418    -0.63    -2.77
                                              
 Mexico peso                19.1565    -0.79     8.29
                                              
 Chile peso                   638.1     1.21     5.11
                                              
 Colombia peso              2992.01     0.57     0.32
                                              
 Peru sol                     3.242    -0.28     5.31
                                              
 Argentina peso             17.4300    -0.63    -8.92
 (interbank)                                  
                                              
 Argentina peso               17.91     0.11    -6.09
 (parallel)                                   
                                              
 
 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by G Crosse and James
Dalgleish)
  
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