April 29, 2019 / 9:16 PM / a month ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam FX, stocks mostly weaker; Argentina peso jumps

 (Adds Morgan Stanley and Citi comments, updates prices)
    By Susan Mathew
    April 29 (Reuters) - Most Latin American currencies weakened
on Monday against a softer dollar, while the Argentine peso
posted its biggest one-day gain in six months after the central
bank said it would ease limits on its foreign exchange market
interventions.
    Mexico's peso and Brazil's real both fell over
0.3%, while Chile's peso logged its ninth day of declines
in ten as prices of copper - Chile's main export, fell.

    Volatile oil prices took their toll on net crude exporter
Colombia's currency which touched its lowest since early
January. Peru's sol, however, climbed and had its best
day in two months.
    Morgan Stanley analysts have turned neutral from bullish on
emerging market currencies.
    "Some elements of our bullish view came together, such as a
dovish U.S. Federal Reserve and a stabilization in China. Yet,
EM has not picked up and new risks have come onto the horizon,"
they wrote, pointing to fragile U.S.-Europe trade relations and
rise in oil prices hurting crude importers as some key risks.
    Argentina's troubled currency soared 3.7%, and
clocked its biggest intraday gain since early October as the
central bank's decision to ease limits on intervention signaled
its willingness to sell reserves to better control the
currency's volatility.
    This was previously not allowed under the country's $56
billion standby financing deal with the International Monetary
Fund and gives the bank more freedom to support the peso by
loosening a no-intervention peso trading band that had been in
place since October.
    But analysts at Citi research expect Argentina to remain
under pressure into early August, and warn of contagion from
Latam's third largest economy.
    As economic indicators showed deterioration, the peso -
which lost half its value against the dollar last year -
slumped, prompting Argentina to take measures to plug the
currency's fall. This has resulted in the currency seeing very
volatile sessions recently.
    Buenos Aires listed stocks slid nearly 4% on
broad-based losses.
    Other regional stock indices closed flat to lower. Brazil's
Bovespa closed marginally lower as a near 6% jump in
pharmaceutical firm Hypera SA was outweighed by
losses among lenders.
    Colombian stocks fell 0.4%, with shares of energy
company Ecopetrol SA down 0.5% as one of its pipelines
was again bombed.
    The country's Trasandino oil pipeline was bombed late on
Friday, spilling crude into a nearby stream in the seventh time
it has been attacked this year.
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 2100 GMT:
    Stock indexes             Latest    Daily %
                                         change
 MSCI Emerging Markets         1082.91      0.45
                                        
 MSCI LatAm                    2761.63     -0.39
                                        
 Brazil Bovespa               96187.75     -0.05
                                        
 Mexico IPC                   44956.73     -0.04
                                        
 Chile IPSA                    5169.86     -0.42
                                        
 Argentina MerVal             28827.37     -3.91
                                        
 Colombia IGBC                12872.97     -0.38
                                        
                                                
       Currencies             Latest    Daily %
                                         change
 Brazil real                    3.9442     -0.37
                                        
 Mexico peso                   19.0135    -0.343
                                        
 Chile peso                      679.5     -0.74
                                        
 Colombia peso                 3248.45     -0.67
 Peru sol                         3.31      0.15
                                        
 Argentina peso                44.3500      3.61
 (interbank)                            
                                        
 

 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard
Chang)
  
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