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EMERGING MARKETS-Mexico peso gains on central bank intervention as Fed eyed

    By Bruno Federowski
    SAO PAULO, April 5 The Mexican peso led gains
among Latin American currencies on Wednesday, supported by
market intervention by its central bank ahead of the release of
the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy meeting minutes.
    The Banco de Mexico fully rolled over $500 million worth of
currency hedging instruments originally sold a month ago to stem
a slump in the currency.
    The peso is now up 11 percent so far this year, rebounding
from all-time lows in 2016 amid fresh hopes that U.S. President
Donald Trump will not impose heavy tariffs on Mexican exports to
the United States as he had threatened.
    The peso firmed nearly 0.5 percent on Thursday,
while other currencies in the region were mostly flat.
    Traders avoided big bets before the release of the U.S.
central bank March policy meeting minutes later in the day.
    Investors have closely monitored the Fed's communication in
search of hints over when U.S. interest rates will rise again,
potentially draining capital away from higher-yielding emerging
markets.
    U.S. companies hired the most workers in over two years in
March, supporting the Fed's view for at least two more hikes by
year-end.
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1610 GMT:
 Stock indexes                     Latest       Daily     YTD
                                                  pct     pct
                                               change  change
 MSCI Emerging Markets                970.16     0.52   11.93
 MSCI LatAm                         2,690.27     0.79   14.03
 Brazil Bovespa                    65,655.72    -0.17    9.01
 Mexico IPC                        49,227.97    -0.23    7.85
 Chile IPSA                         4,857.06     0.65   17.00
 Chile IGPA                        24,297.86     0.58   17.19
 Argentina MerVal                  20,836.01        0   23.16
 Colombia IGBC                     10,223.33     0.42    0.94
 Venezuela IBC                     45,184.30    -1.21   42.51
                                                             
 Currencies                           Latest    Daily     YTD
                                                  pct     pct
                                               change  change
 Brazil real                          3.0914     0.19    5.10
 Mexico peso                         18.7300     0.47   10.75
 Chile peso                            658.5     0.29    1.85
 Colombia peso                      2,857.83     0.12    5.03
 Peru sol                              3.248     0.06    5.11
 Argentina peso (interbank)          15.3575    -0.02    3.37
                                                       
 Argentina peso (parallel)             15.79     0.57    6.52
                                                       
 
 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski, editing by G Crosse)
  
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