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Miguel Gutierrez

Former Venezuelan general with 'treasure trove' of intelligence arrested for drug trafficking

Apr 12 2019

MADRID/WASHINGTON Spanish police on Friday arrested Hugo Carvajal, a former head of Venezuelan military intelligence, who Washington believes has a "treasure trove" of details he is willing to share about Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Mexico stocks post worst quarter in 17 years, government weighs

Dec 31 2018

MEXICO CITY Mexico's main stock index closed out its worst quarter in over 17 years on Monday, dragged down by doubts about how the new leftist government will manage the economy as well as concerns over global growth and trade.

Mexican central bank seen hiking rate on high inflation, Fed

Dec 17 2018

MEXICO CITY Mexico's central bank is seen hiking its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points on Thursday, according to a poll published on Monday, on the back of expectations for persistently high inflation and forecasts for the U.S. Federal Reserve to increasing borrowing costs.

Mexico's new president takes aim at violence during first day in office

Dec 03 2018

MEXICO CITY On his first full day in office, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador defended a plan to end lawlessness with a new national guard, an initiative that risks upsetting some supporters who favor a less militarized approach. | Video

Mexican peso up after airport bond-holder report, U.S.-China trade truce

Dec 02 2018

MEXICO CITY Mexico's peso currency gained around 1.3 percent on Sunday in international trading, mostly in Asia, after local media reported there may be a solution for bond-holders tied to the financing of a scrapped airport in the capital.

Mexican bank stocks sink on incoming government's proposed commissions cut

Nov 08 2018

MEXICO CITY Mexico's banking stocks plummeted on Thursday after a senator from the president-elect's party unexpectedly presented a proposal to stop banks from charging certain commissions, deepening fears about the leftist's economic policy.

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks, FX headed for weekly gain; Mexico's peso weakens

Oct 19 2018

By Miguel Gutierrez and Susan Mathew Oct 19 Latin American currency and stock indices were on track to log weekly gains for a fifth straight week, with most currencies firming on Friday, while stock markets trimmed gains as the rally on Wall Street lost some momentum. The MSCI emerging markets Latin American currency index looked set to post a weekly gain of 0.7 percent, while the stock index was on track for a 1.2 percent rise. On the day, however, Brazil's stock index gave up most of its gains as the Nasdaq moved into the red and the S&P 500 steadied. While the dollar weakened against the euro, helping Brazil's real and the Argentine peso hold on to gains, it firmed against some other emerging market currencies such as the Mexican and Chilean pesos, after the latter saw a surprise interest rate hike by the central bank on Thursday. The Mexican peso reversed course to hit its lowest in more than a month. Analysts pinned the weakness on the outlook downgrade by rating agency Fitch on state-owned petroleum company, Pemex, as well as uncertainty introduced by the vote on Mexico City's new airport scheduled for next week. Incoming president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who says the new airport has been tainted by corruption and will be more costly than projected, plans to poll the public from Oct. 25 to Oct. 28 to decide if the government should finish the airport or upgrade a military air base to complement the existing hub. "The issue of the Mexico City airport referendum is starting to receive a little bit more of attention which introduces a little bit of uncertainty. So, that might have driven some underperformance in the peso," said Kenneth Lam, a Latam FX strategist at Citigroup. Regarding Fitch's downgrade of Pemex's outlook to 'negative' from 'stable', the concerns is regarding its future commercial strategy, said James Salazar, an analyst at CI Banco. "So its finances should continue to be handled with great caution so as not to cause additional imbalances that will increase its debt. In this sense, it is imperative that the new administration focus on continuing to clean up Pemex's finances as far as possible to release cash flow," Salazar said. These issues come amid U.S. President Donald Trump threatening to close the southern border if Mexico did not move to halt the entry of migrant into the United State- an issue he says is more important than the recent trade deal struck with Canada and Mexico. Brazil's assets rose as latest polls pointed to a victory for market-preferred presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro on the Oct. 28 runoff against rival Fernando Haddad. Reports late Thursday of Brazil's central bank Governor Ilan Goldfajn plans to step down by the year end seemed to have little impact on the market. "Investors have a fairly positive view of the potential Bolsonaro administration, and market has confidence that he will appoint somebody credible to that job," Citigroup's Lam added. "At the end of the day, the market is pricing in a Bolsonaro victory on the 28th and we do think there is additional room for the real to outperform going into that event," he said. Earlier this month, newspaper Folia de S. Paulo reported that Bolsonaro could invite the head of global markets at Santander Brasil to lead the central bank if Goldfajn declined to stay. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1910 GMT: Stock indexes Latest daily % YTD % change change MSCI Emerging Markets 971.23 0.03 -16.19 MSCI LatAm 2693.55 -0.14 -4.63 Brazil Bovespa 83966.78 0.14 9.90 Mexico IPC 47289.42 0.56 -4.18 Chile IPSA 5119.66 0.01 0.01 Argentina MerVal 28650.44 0.99 -4.71 Colombia IGBC 12440.67 -0.58 9.41 Currencies daily % YTD % change change Latest Brazil real 3.7100 0.36 -10.69 Mexico peso 19.2950 -0.76 2.09 Chile peso 680.5 -0.48 -9.68 Colombia peso 3076.05 0.45 -3.06 Peru sol 3.331 0.09 -2.82 Argentina peso (interbank) 36.5200 0.36 -49.07 Argentina peso (parallel) 36.5 2.05 -47.32 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

EMERGING MARKETS-Surging U.S. bond yields hit Latam currencies, stocks

Oct 04 2018

By Susan Mathew and Miguel Gutierrez Oct 4 Soaring U.S. Treasury yields sent Latin American currencies and stocks sliding on Thursday, mirroring the declines seen across global financial markets, although a volatile Brazilian real ended the day flat. The MSCI Latin American currency index fell 1.5 percent in its steepest plunge in three months as the yield on the U.S. benchmark 10-year Treasury note was perched at seven-year highs after robust U.S. economic data. The stock index was roughly 2 percent lower with all of the major regional indexes in the red. The Mexican peso weakened, seeing little impact from the central bank's widely expected move to keep interest rates at a 9-1/2-year high of 7.75 percent. The Banco de Mexico said it would maintain a "prudent" policy, flagging an upside risk to inflation and a downside risk to growth. "Banxico left the door open to raise the rate in the short term as it considers that there are still upside risks for inflation, given an environment of internal and external uncertainty," CI Banco said in a research note. However, Alfredo Coutiño, director of analysis for Latin America at Moody's Analytics, warned that the central bank was taking a gamble by not raising rates now. "The central bank is taking an unnecessary risk: the foreign exchange pressures will worsen in the next few days and affect the direction of inflation for the rest of the year," he said. Argentina's peso snapped a three-day winning streak to finish lower as the allure of the greenback at an 11-month high swayed capital away from yet another tranche of debt sale by the central bank. The bank has sold billions of pesos worth of seven-day notes, called Leliqs, at sky-high interest rates to mop up excess liquidity and keep investors from buying dollars – a tactic that analysts said was unsustainable. The peso is expected to fall further, a Reuters poll showed, as skepticism over the government's ability to tame inflation and plug a budget deficit limit the impact of a deal with the International Monetary Fund intended to shore up the recession-riddled country's finances. The Brazilian real was little changed in a volatile session, after the latest poll on the country's presidential race soured hopes of a victory for the market-preferred candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, in a second-round runoff. The poll, released late on Wednesday, pointed to a slight second-round edge for leftist candidate Fernando Haddad, while previous polls had shown Bolsonaro had clawed ahead. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2129 GMT: Stock indexes Latest Daily pct YTD pct change change MSCI Emerging Markets 1,010.38 -2.38 -12.78 MSCI LatAm 2,637.98 -2.13 -6.72 Brazil Bovespa 82,952.81 -0.38 8.57 Mexico IPC 48,683.26 -0.66 -1.36 Chile IPSA 5,326.13 -0.31 -0.31 Argentina MerVal 30,928.83 -3.95 2.87 Colombia IGBC 12,527.43 -0.53 10.17 Currencies Latest Daily pct YTD pct change change Brazil real 3.8735 0.55 -14.46 Mexico peso 19.0905 0.03 3.19 Chile peso 675.4 -2.16 -8.99 Colombia peso 3,032.15 0.03 -1.65 Peru sol 3.328 -0.18 -2.73 Argentina peso (interbank) 38.3000 -1.59 -51.44 Argentina peso (parallel) 37.5 2.67 -48.72 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler)

EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil real trims gains on dollar strength, Mexican peso slips

Oct 03 2018

By Susan Mathew and Miguel Gutierrez Oct 3 The Brazilian real rallied on Wednesday, lifted by election optimism, but the currency gave up a large chunk its earlier gains while the Mexican peso headed lower as the dollar rallied after strong U.S. economic data. The greenback gained as data showed U.S. services sector activity raced to a 21-year high in September and companies boosted hiring, signs of enduring strength in the economy at the end of the third quarter. Mexico's peso gave up gains of about 0.4 percent earlier to weaken by more than 1 percent, its worst session in more than a month, ahead of a central bank meeting on Thursday. The bank is expected to leave its interest rate unchanged at 7.75 percent as inflation slows and trade uncertainty ebbed after the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) deal over the weekend. A strengthening dollar, boosted by strong economic data out of the U.S. kept pressure on the peso, analysts said. "The momentum of the USMCA has already passed and the peso has a downward trend looking for a respite that may not be until next week if the U.S. data continue pointing to a solid economy," said Alfonso Esparza, senior market analyst at brokerage Oanda. Brazil's real was 0.9 percent higher, trimming gains of more than 2 percent earlier. Still, the currency was on track for a third straight day after a poll showed market-preferred conservative Jair Bolsonaro would likely beat main rival Fernando Haddad from the leftist Worker's Party. Banks drove gains on the Brazilian stock exchange, Bovespa , with the country's biggest lender Banco do Brasil rising nearly 4 percent. Argentina's peso also gained, supported by a surge in sale of seven-day notes, or leliqs, by the central bank. The bank sold 109.52 billion pesos ($2.894 billion) worth of leliqs at a 71.267 percent yield, more than what was sold in each of the past two days. The peso, also retreated from earlier gains, closing 0.8 percent firmer at 37.74 against the dollar. Leliq sales are a way of absorbing excess peso liquidity available so that nervous investors do not turn to safe-haven buying of the dollar amid soaring inflation. But, investors remain wary of this mechanism as the high yields on the notes are unsustainable in the medium term, said Gustavo Ber, an economist at Estudio Ber. "This monetary policy is very strong medicine, and while it has calmed the financial markets, it undermines the prevailing tax policy and does not strengthen the real economy," Ber said. A central bank poll had showed the country's inflation and economic growth worsening from previous expectations by the end of the year. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1937 GMT: Stock Latest daily % change YTD % change indexes MSCI Emerging Markets 1030.89 -0.23 -10.8 MSCI LatAm 2662.19 1.23 -7.01 Brazil Bovespa 82928.20 1.61 8.54 Mexico IPC 49044.37 -0.67 -0.63 Chile IPSA 5337.18 0.26 0.26 Argentina MerVal 32418.41 -0.95 7.83 Colombia IGBC 12582.85 0.54 10.66 Currencies Latest daily % change YTD % change Brazil real 3.8899 1.13 -14.82 Mexico peso 18.9916 -1.04 3.72 Chile peso 660.8 -0.36 -6.98 Colombia peso 3015.35 0.00 -1.11 Peru sol 3.322 -0.30 -2.56 Argentina peso (interbank) 37.6000 1.46 -50.53 Argentina peso (parallel) 38 1.32 -49.39 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru, Miguel Gutierrez in Mexico City and Walter Bianchi in Buenos Aires; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil's real firms on election news; Mexican peso slips

Oct 02 2018

By Susan Mathew and Miguel Gutierrez Oct 2 Brazil's real strengthened on Tuesday after a poll showed the market-preferred presidential candidate had clawed back ground, while the Mexican peso slipped for the first time in five days, in line with global risk aversion due to concerns over Italy. The real was up 1.5 percent after an opinion poll showed that a likely presidential election second-round run-off would result in a tie between Jair Bolsonaro and leftist Workers Party candidate Fernando Haddad, rather than a loss for Bolsonaro as investors had feared. The real is expected to be particularly susceptible to election news ahead of the first round vote this weekend. "Apparently the tide seems to have started to turn for Bolsonaro," Guide brokerage said in a research note. "Many were starting to forecast that Bolsonaro wasn't going to improve in the polls ... But yesterday's numbers showed a turnaround." The benchmark Bovespa index was higher, bolstered by a 5.4 percent rise in energy company Petrobras as oil prices hovered near a four-year top. Brazil was an outlier among emerging markets, which were hit by a firming dollar and worries about a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing as well as anti-euro comments by a senior official of Italy's ruling League party. The Mexican peso weakened, with analysts saying relief over the NAFTA deal being salvaged would be replaced by questions over the new agreement, now called United States-Mexico-Canda (USMCA). "Much of this depreciation of the currency is explained by the global sentiment of risk aversion due to the issue of Italy and the technical rebound yesterday," CI Banco said in a note. On Monday, the peso rallied after the deal was struck, but pared gains late in the session. Analysts at Banco Base said investors would remain cautious until they saw details of the agreement, especially full implications of the parallel letter or the "insurance" for Mexico in case Washington imposes tariffs on automotive sector imports. Argentina's peso rallied for a second day, up 3.6 percent ahead of the central bank's impending sale of another round of high-yielding short-term debt aimed at easing inflation by mopping up excess liquidity. Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1455 GMT: Stock indexes daily % YTD % change Latest change MSCI Emerging Markets 1032.06 -1.37 -9.67 MSCI LatAm 2620.96 2.21 -9.33 Brazil Bovespa 81150.54 3.21 6.22 Mexico IPC 49570.96 -0.54 0.44 Chile IPSA 5314.34 0.3 0.30 Argentina MerVal 33092.82 1.56 10.07 Colombia IGBC 12457.13 -0.8 9.56 Currencies daily % YTD % change Latest change Brazil real 3.9603 1.45 -16.34 Mexico peso 18.7910 -0.44 4.83 Chile peso 660 -0.30 -6.87 Colombia peso 3000.99 -0.13 -0.63 Peru sol 3.313 -0.18 -2.29 Argentina peso (interbank) 38.1000 3.81 -51.18 Argentina peso (parallel) 38.25 3.92 -49.73 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru and Miguel Gutierrez and Michael Scott O'Boyle;)

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