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EMERGING MARKETS-Latam markets mostly up as U.S. data dampens rate hike bets

By Bruno Federowski
    SAO PAULO, Sept 15 Latin American stocks and
currencies were mostly higher on Thursday after weak U.S.
economic figures reduced expectations of an imminent rate hike.
    But concerns lingered about tepid economic growth in
developed economies, prospects of less monetary stimulus in
Europe and uncertainty over the U.S. presidential election.
    Emerging market volatility has spiked in recent weeks as
mixed economic data and conflicting remarks by U.S. Federal
Reserve policymakers kept investors guessing over the timing of
the central bank's next moves.
    Some worry that even rock-bottom rates have lost their
capacity to boost economic growth. That could lead the Fed to
increase rates despite signs of weakness at home, but keep them
at historically low levels.
    U.S. retail sales fell more than expected, and manufacturing
activity slumped in August, according to reports on Thursday,
although the labor market continued to strengthen last week and
underlying producer inflation rose last month. 
    Traders now await policy meetings from the Fed, the Bank of
Japan and the Bank of England next week for more clarity over
the future of global monetary policy.
    Uncertainty about the outcome of the U.S. presidential
election as Republican nominee Donald Trump rises in polls has
also weighed on sentiment recently.
    This is particularly affected the Mexican peso 
 as Trump has pledged to curtail trade and financial
flows with the neighboring country.
    The peso rose 0.28 percent on Thursday, underperforming most
of its regional peers.
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1500 GMT:
 Stock indexes                                daily %   YTD %
                                               change  change
                                   Latest              
 MSCI Emerging Markets               887.40      0.26   11.46
 MSCI LatAm                         2321.78      0.85   25.81
 Brazil Bovespa                    57635.66      1.01   32.95
 Mexico IPC                        45795.80      0.06    6.56
 Chile IPSA                         4065.98      0.02   10.48
 Chile IGPA                        20217.83      0.03   11.38
 Argentina MerVal                  15590.19      0.28   33.53
 Colombia IGBC                     10102.59     -0.05   18.20
 Venezuela IBC                     12015.67     -0.75  -17.63
                                                             
 Currencies                                   daily %   YTD %
                                               change  change
                                                       
                                     Latest            
 Brazil real                         3.3274      0.42   18.62
 Mexico peso                        19.2200      0.28  -10.35
 Chile peso                           669.2      0.75    6.05
 Colombia peso                      2928.99      0.72    8.20
 Peru sol                             3.383      0.30    0.92
 Argentina peso (interbank)         15.0300      0.00  -13.62
                                                       
 Argentina peso (parallel)            15.36      0.33   -7.10
                                                       
 

 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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