December 24, 2019 / 2:37 PM / 3 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam assets ease in thin Christmas Eve trading

    * Brazil, Argentina shut on Christmas Eve
    * Mexican peso firms a day after falling

    By Shreyashi Sanyal
    Dec 24 (Reuters) - Currencies and stocks in Latin America
eased on Tuesday, as investors paused ahead of the Christmas
holiday break, with skepticism setting in around lasting
progress in U.S.-China trade relations. 
    Markets in Brazil and Argentina were closed. Analysts do not
expect any significant moves for emerging market currencies and
stocks, given the light economic calendar through the week and
low trading volumes ahead of the new year.
    MSCI's index of Latin American currencies
edged slightly lower, after building on a rally that has put the
index on pace for its best monthly percentage gain this year.
    A preliminary trade truce between the United States and
China earlier in the month has induced investors to increase
their exposure to riskier emerging market assets. 
    But some analysts pointed to creeping doubts about how an
initial trade deal could work toward finally resolving the
nearly two-year long dispute, which has dented global business
sentiment.
    "The fact there is a Phase 1 deal, rather than a
comprehensive agreement, combined with the risk that there could
be implementation issues, suggests that the positive news is all
but certain to dry up," Jane Foley, head of FX strategy at
Rabobank, wrote in a note. 
    The Mexican peso firmed, a day after lagging its
regional peers as data showed consumer prices in the first half
of December slipped well below the central bank's 3% target,
raising chances of further monetary easing.
    Data on Tuesday showed Mexico's economy contracted in
October from September in seasonally adjusted terms, making a
poor start to the fourth quarter after nine months of
stagnation.
    The Mexican equity market will close at 1800 GMT on Tuesday
and will remain shut on Christmas day.  
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1409 GMT:
    
        Stock indexes                 Latest     Daily % change
 MSCI Emerging Markets                 1109.29             -0.21
 MSCI LatAm                            2909.23             -0.34
 Brazil Bovespa                              -                 -
 Mexico IPC                                  -                 -
 Chile IPSA                            4722.91             -0.07
 Argentina MerVal                            -                 -
 Colombia COLCAP                             -                 -
                                                                
           Currencies                 Latest     Daily % change
 Brazil real                                 -                 -
 Mexico peso                           18.9426              0.05
 Chile peso                              750.9              0.45
 Colombia peso                               -                 -
 Peru sol                               3.3098              0.25
 Argentina peso (interbank)                  -                 -
                                                
 

 (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Steve
Orlofsky)
  
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