December 18, 2019 / 3:17 PM / a month ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies at six-week high as trade optimism lingers

    * Brazil real, Chile peso add nearly half a percent
    * Improving global outlook spurs demand for Latam assets
    * MSCI index of Latam stocks hits highest level since July
    * Brazil meatpacker Marfrig slides after share offering

    By Sagarika Jaisinghani and Ambar Warrick
    Dec 18 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies rose to a
six-week high on Wednesday, led by the Brazilian real and
Chilean peso, as a broader improvement in global sentiment
powered demand for riskier assets ahead of the Christmas holiday
period.
    Brazil's real firmed nearly half a percent after
sliding in the previous session. The currency has taken a
beating this year, due in part to a failed oil auction that
prompted a prolonged intervention by the central bank.
    The Chilean peso rose for the sixth day in a row,
recovering from a steep fall in November sparked by violent
anti-government protests. But despite rising nearly 7% this
month, the currency is still off about 5% from Oct. 21.
    "Global markets have calmed down and sentiment is generally
more friendly towards emerging market currencies, which is
reflected particularly in Latam currencies," said Thu Lan
Nguyen, FX strategist with Commerzbank.
    Investors have bought back into emerging market assets in
December after an initial U.S.-China trade deal appeared to lift
some of the global economic uncertainty and a slate of upbeat
data eased recession fears. 
    Yet, an almost certain impeachment of U.S. President Donald
Trump and a hard line on Brexit negotiations by British Prime
Minister Boris Johnson are keeping a global rally in check.

    An index of Latin American currencies rose
about 0.3% to its highest level since Nov. 6, while its
counterpart tracking stocks hit a
four-and-a-half-month high.
    Among country indexes, Brazilian shares extended
gains after a hitting a record closing high on Tuesday. Congress
approved the federal government's budget for next year, based on
projected economic growth of 2.32%, with the bill now passing to
President Jair Bolsonaro for final approval.
    Capping gains on the index, Brazilian meatpacker Marfrig
Global Foods SA tumbled 5% after the conclusion of a
share offering on Tuesday.
    Argentina's MerVal gained about 1.4%, after
declining in the previous session as the country's new
government unveiled higher taxes on agricultural exports and new
taxes on foreign assets held abroad.
    Chilean equities lost about 0.7%, while Mexican
 and Peruvian stocks were trading flat.
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1456 GMT:
   
     Stock indexes              Latest    Daily % change
 MSCI Emerging Markets           1107.53            0.45
                                          
 MSCI LatAm                      2879.71            0.58
                                          
 Brazil Bovespa                113072.79            0.41
                                          
 Mexico IPC                     44432.55            0.07
                                          
 Chile SPIPSA                    4780.75            -0.7
                                          
 Argentina MerVal               37441.59           1.416
                                          
 Colombia Colcap                 1620.97           -0.25
                                          
                                                        
        Currencies              Latest    Daily % change
 Brazil real                      4.0525            0.27
                                          
 Mexico peso                     18.9428           -0.09
                                          
 Chile peso                       752.05            0.50
                                          
 Colombia peso                   3331.26            0.27
 Peru sol                         3.3358            0.10
                                          
 Argentina peso (interbank)      59.8150               -
                                          
 
 (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani and Ambar Warrick in
Bengaluru
Editing by Alistair Bell)
  
0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below