February 27, 2018 / 6:59 PM / 20 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latin America stocks, currencies fall broadly on Fed remarks

    SAO PAULO, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Equities and currencies fell
across Latin America on Tuesday after new Federal Reserve
Chairman Jerome Powell said his personal outlook for the U.S.
economy had strengthened since December.
    In remarks to the U.S. House Financial Services Committee,
newly appointed Powell added that recent data had increased his
confidence that U.S. inflation will rise, fueling bets that the
Fed could hike interest rates four times this year and sending
the dollar higher against most major currencies.

    In Latin America, all major currencies except the Argentine
peso fell against the dollar, and all major equities
market sank along with Wall Street. Mexico, which is currently
undergoing a sensitive round of North American Free Trade
Agreement renegotiations, led losses.
    Mexico's benchmark IPC equities index was off 0.85
percent in morning trade, after falling more than 1 percent
earlier, while the Mexican peso had fallen 0.67 against
the dollar. Elsewhere in Latin America, Brazil's benchmark
Bovespa index was off 0.68 percent in afternoon trade,
while Argentina's small and volatile Merval fell 1.31
    "Pretty much the market is going to be fluttering back and
forth in both directions based on things (Powell) says today, so
it doesn't surprise me too much," said Randy Frederick, vice
president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in
Austin, Texas.
    "It's his first speech, and the market is already in a
higher volatility phase."
    Mexican equities were also depressed as Mexican firms
continue to report quarterly results that analysts consider sub
    Among the biggest losers on the IPC was Gentera SAB de CV
, which specializes in credit products for
low-income consumers, as the company missed fourth-quarter
profit estimates due in part to higher-than-expected costs.
    Its shares fell 5.3 percent, posting their biggest intraday
loss since October.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1832 GMT:
 Stock indexes             Latest          Daily   YTD pct
                                             pct    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets         1212.14     -0.73      5.41
 MSCI LatAm                    3134.83     -0.83     11.77
 Brazil Bovespa               87069.35     -0.67     13.96
 Mexico IPC                   48051.23     -0.85     -2.64
 Chile IPSA                    5635.91      -0.6      1.28
 Chile IGPA                   28280.76     -0.55      1.07
 Argentina MerVal             32487.40     -1.31      8.06
 Colombia IGBC                11756.68     -0.74      3.40
 Venezuela IBC                 4478.55     -8.82    -85.87
 Currencies                     Latest     Daily   YTD pct
                                             pct    change
 Brazil real                    3.2405     -0.27      2.25
 Mexico peso                   18.7560     -0.36      5.03
 Chile peso                        591     -0.60      4.00
 Colombia peso                    2859     -0.70      4.30
 Peru sol                        3.252     -0.12     -0.46
 Argentina peso                20.2200     -0.15     -8.01
 Argentina peso                  20.23      0.69     -4.94

 (Reporting by Gram Slattery; editing by Diane Craft)
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