SAO PAULO, March 24 The Mexican peso firmed on
Friday to its strongest in four months ahead of a key vote on
the U.S. healthcare overhaul plan seen as a test of President
Donald Trump's self-described skills as a negotiator.
The peso strengthened 0.5 percent, touching levels
last seen before Trump was elected in November. Other Latin
American currencies also edged up in thin trading volumes.
Bets that Trump's campaign pledges to cut taxes could raise
economic growth in the world's No. 1 economy had lifted appetite
for emerging market assets earlier this year.
But the rally fizzled on Wednesday after his healthcare bill
stalled in Congress, raising doubts about the president's
ability to work with Congress.
Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index seesawed,
with shares of power utility Cia Energética de Minas Gerais SA
extending gains for a second day.
Still, concerns that the Brazilian government could face
difficulties in gathering lawmaker support for a planned revamp
of the country's pension system kept a lid on demand for assets.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1640 GMT:
Stock indexes daily % YTD %
MSCI Emerging Markets 970.71 0.29 12.25
MSCI LatAm 2620.40 1.12 10.72
Brazil Bovespa 63850.65 0.5 6.02
Mexico IPC 49007.52 0.68 7.37
Chile IPSA 4755.85 0.6 14.56
Chile IGPA 23820.72 0.62 14.89
Argentina MerVal 19705.10 0.19 16.48
Colombia IGBC 10069.79 -0.26 -0.58
Venezuela IBC 37707.84 0.61 18.93
Currencies daily % YTD %
Brazil real 3.1168 0.63 4.25
Mexico peso 18.8500 0.47 10.05
Chile peso 660.2 0.42 1.59
Colombia peso 2897.64 0.56 3.58
Peru sol 3.243 0.03 5.27
Argentina peso (interbank) 15.5950 0.16 1.80
Argentina peso (parallel) 16.04 0.25 4.86
(Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)