December 28, 2017 / 2:33 PM / 5 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-LatAm currencies gain on U.S. data in thin trading

    By Bruno Federowski
    SAO PAULO, Dec 28 (Reuters) - Most Latin American currencies
firmed on Thursday after data showing a widening U.S. trade gap
offset figures demonstrating a continuingly firm labor market.
    Traders closely track U.S. economic data in search of clues
to the pace of U.S. interest rate increases in coming months.
    Though employment has shown signs of consistent strength,
mixed reports on economic activity have fueled bets that the
Federal Reserve will be slow in tightening policy, supporting
demand for high-yielding emerging market currencies.
    Currencies from Brazil, Mexico and Chile
 firmed between 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent, while the
Colombian peso was nearly flat.
    Traders mostly kept quiet, with little news on the horizon
ahead of the New Years holiday. 
    Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index rose 0.4
percent, led by shares of loyalty program Smiles Fidelidade SA
 after it announced it will cut prices of tickets sold
by airline Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes SA.
    Cia de Locação das Américas SA jumped almost 10
percent after it announced a cash and stock deal to create the 
second-largest car rental company in Brazil through a tie-up
with rival Unidas SA.
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1340 GMT:
 Stock indexes                                daily %   YTD %
                                               change  change
                                   Latest              
 MSCI Emerging Markets               1153.67     0.81   32.72
 MSCI LatAm                          2815.63      0.6   19.58
 Brazil Bovespa                     76353.41     0.37   26.78
 Chile IPSA                          5538.67     0.77   33.42
 Chile IGPA                         27851.43     0.68   34.33
                                                             
 Currencies                                   daily %   YTD %
                                               change  change
                                      Latest           
 Brazil real                          3.3049     0.18   -1.69
 Mexico peso                         19.6460     0.19    5.59
 Chile peso                           615.24     0.11    9.01
 Colombia peso                       2974.74    -0.02    0.90
 Peru sol                              3.235     0.15    5.53
 Argentina peso (interbank)          18.6000    -0.83  -14.65
                                                       
 Argentina peso (parallel)                19    -0.53  -11.47
                                                       
 
 (Editing by Steve Orlofsky)
  
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