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EMERGING MARKETS-Looming Fed rate decision weighs down LatAm currencies
March 20, 2018 / 10:05 PM / a month ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Looming Fed rate decision weighs down LatAm currencies

    By Daina Beth Solomon
    MEXICO CITY, March 20 (Reuters) - Major Latin American
currencies slid and Mexico's stock index fell nearly 1.0 percent
on Tuesday ahead of expectations that the United States will
raise interest rates on Wednesday which may hit demand for
emerging market assets. 
    Mexico's S&P/BMV IPC index dropped 0.84 percent,
reaching its lowest level since last December, while Brazil's
Bovespa was flat. 
    Broadcaster Televisa weighed on the Mexican
index as shares fell more than 7.0 percent after lawsuits were
filed against the company regarding its role in the corruption
scandal surrounding FIFA, soccer's world governing body.
    Analysts said the possibility of U.S. President Donald Trump
enacting protectionist trade measures added to the pressure from
interest rate hikes expected to be announced Wednesday after the
first U.S. Federal Reserve Policy meeting under Chairman Jerome
Powell.
    The Mexican peso weakened 0.33 percent while the Brazilian
real weakened 0.12 percent.  
    Investors largely expect the Fed to lift its benchmark
overnight lending rate to a range of 1.5 to 1.75 percent and
update its assessment of the economy. 
    Traders will scrutinize the Fed's policy statement in search
of clues over the pace of future rate hikes, following signs of
Powell's growing confidence in the U.S. economic recovery.
         
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2053 GMT:
    
 Latin American market                                    
 prices from Reuters                              
                                                  
 Stock indexes                           daily %     YTD %
                             Latest       change    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets         1209.89      0.52      4.44
                                                  
 MSCI LatAm                    3011.55     -0.17      6.48
                                                  
 Brazil Bovespa               84163.80       0.3     10.16
                                                  
 Mexico IPC                   47076.51     -0.84     -4.62
                                                  
 Chile IPSA                    5542.93      -0.6     -0.39
                                                  
 Chile IGPA                   27788.60     -0.54     -0.69
                                                  
 Argentina MerVal             31823.56      0.31      5.85
                                                  
 Colombia IGBC                11542.16      0.36      1.51
                                                  
 Venezuela IBC                 7421.06      9.51    487.51
                                                  
                                                          
 Currencies                              daily %     YTD %
                                          change    change
                                Latest            
 Brazil real                    3.3109     -0.12      0.07
                                                  
 Mexico peso                   18.7675     -0.33      4.96
                                                  
 Chile peso                      609.4     -0.06      0.86
                                                  
 Colombia peso                  2870.5     -0.47      3.88
 Peru sol                        3.265      0.15     -0.86
                                                  
 Argentina peso                20.2500     -0.25     -8.15
 (interbank)                                      
                                                  
 Argentina peso                  20.92      0.00     -8.08
 (parallel)                                       
                                                  
    

 (Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon and Miguel Angel Gutierrez)
  

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