January 4, 2019 / 3:39 PM / 11 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies retreat on dollar, trade talk lifts stocks

    By Aaron Saldanha
    Jan 4 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies gave up some of
their early gains on Friday as the dollar rose after data showed
higher than expected U.S. job growth, while Beijing's
announcement a new round of trade talks with Washington helped
lift stocks in the region. 
    The U.S. dollar turned positive against a basket of
currencies after the data showed U.S. employers hired the most
workers in 10 months in December while boosting wages, pointing
to sustained strength in the economy that could ease fears of a
sharp slowdown in growth in the world's top economy.

    But hopes of an improvement in trade between the world's two
biggest economies propped up Latin America's equity markets,
with resources firms across the region benefiting significantly.
   
    Mexico's peso, considered by some to be a bellwether 
of trade sentiment, had firmed as much as 0.5 percent but gave
up some of those gains. 
    But local stocks in Mexico were up 0.7 percent, with
gains led by diversified miner Grupo Mexico, up
4.4 percent.
    Brazil's real weakened 0.1 percent while the Bovespa
stocks index edged up and was on track to clock a new
record closing high.
    Materials stocks accounted for the bulk of those gains, with
mega miner Vale SA among the top gainers, jumping 4.4
percent.
    Chile's stocks benchmark rose 0.9 percent and
its peso was up 1.2 percent. Prices of key export copper
 jumped on hopes of improving U.S.-China trade. China is
the world's top consumer of the metal, whose demand is sensitive
to global economic growth.   
    Argentina's peso softened about 0.2 percent while
local equities were up 2.7 percent.       
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1518 GMT
    
 Stock                             Latest    daily % change
   indexes                                   
 MSCI Emerging Markets             960.56    1.16
                                             
 MSCI LatAm                        2701.12   0.26
                                             
 Brazil Bovespa                    91623.49  0.06
 Mexico IPC                        42352.74  0.73
 Chile IPSA                        5173.16   0.86
 Argentina MerVal                  31899.66  2.69
 Colombia IGBC                     11340.90  -0.02
                                             
 Currencies                        Latest    daily % change
 Brazil real                       3.7663    -0.35
 Mexico peso                       19.6090   0.07
 Chile peso                        687.75    0.84
 Colombia peso                     3206.01   1.15
                                             
 Peru sol                          3.359     0.24
 Argentina peso (interbank)        37.3900   0.19
                                             
 
 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru
Editing by Susan Thomas)
  
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