April 11, 2018 / 9:02 PM / 2 years ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Colombian peso gains on oil, Mideast tensions

 (Updates prices, adds news in Mexico and Venezuelan inflation
    BRASILIA, April 11 (Reuters) - Colombia's peso led Latin
American currency gains as oil prices surged over tensions in
the Middle East, but responses in other regional markets were
muted amid broader caution as the United States threatened
military action in Syria.
    The Colombian peso, already near a three-year high,
rose 1.93 percent to 2719.25 to the dollar as oil prices climbed
after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to fire missiles at
Syria in response to a suspected chemical attack.
    Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday it intercepted missiles over
its capital, Riyadh, as Yemen's Houthis have stepped up missile
attacks on the kingdom, bolstering the oil rally.
    Colombia's stock market mirrored the gains with the IGBC
index rising 1.57 percent.
    Amid mostly flat Latin American markets, Brazil's Bovespa
index rose 0.87 percent after the country's Supreme
Court put off consideration of a petition that could potentially
free former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who was jailed
on Saturday on a corruption conviction. 
    Lula leads opinion polls for the October presidential
election but is seen by markets as potentially derailing the
country's austerity efforts. 
    Mexico's peso currency and its benchmark stock index both
rose Wednesday on optimism that a deal on an updated North
American Free Trade Agreement will be reached.
    The Mexican peso was up 0.24 percent, while the country's
S&P/BMV IPC index rose 0.42 percent.
    In Venezuela, prices rose 454 percent during the first three
months 2018, according to the country's opposition-led National
Assembly, whose numbers are broadly in line with those of
independent economists.
    The once-prosperous South American country is undergoing an
economic crisis, with millions of people suffering from food
shortages, hyperinflation and a currency that weakens
significantly every day.
    Annual inflation over the last 12 months, according to the
National Assembly, is just shy of 8,900 percent.
Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2024 GMT:
 Stock indexes           Latest     Daily pct  YTD pct
                                       change   change
 MSCI Emerging Markets    1,175.53       0.02     1.47
 MSCI LatAm               3,055.36       1.22     8.03
 Brazil Bovespa          85,245.59       0.87    11.57
 Mexico IPC              48,532.14       0.42    -1.67
 Chile IPSA               5,613.81       0.14     0.88
 Chile IGPA              28,082.30       0.07     0.36
 Argentina MerVal        32,099.73      -0.38     6.77
 Colombia IGBC           12,304.09       1.57     8.21
 Venezuela IBC            9,914.10      25.34   684.88
 Currencies                 Latest  Daily pct  YTD pct
                                       change   change
 Brazil real                3.3818       0.10    -2.03
 Mexico peso               18.2165       0.24     8.14
 Chile peso                  597.6       0.39     2.85
 Colombia peso            2,719.25       1.93     9.66
 Peru sol                    3.233       0.19     0.12
 Argentina peso            20.1650      -0.01    -7.76
 Argentina peso              20.39       0.05    -5.69

 (Reporting by Jake Spring in Brasilia and David Alire Garcia in
Mexico City; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)
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