June 19, 2020 / 2:30 PM / 22 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam assets rise; Brazil's real to underperform peers for the week

    * Real to lose more than 6% for the week
    * Colombia's peso the sole weekly gainer
    * Argentine stocks set for worst week in nearly 2 months

    By Ambar Warrick
    June 19 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks and currencies
ticked up on Friday, with most currencies set for steep weekly
losses as political ructions and fears of the coronavirus pushed
money into safe havens.
    Brazil's real, which rose 0.1% for the day,
underperformed its peers by a wide margin for the week, with a
weekly loss that may exceed 6%.
    A string of weak economic data pressured the currency
through the week, with the Brazilian central bank's signaling 
more potential rate cuts prompting a strong selloff on Thursday.
    Fears of a second wave of COVID-19 infections in major
economies affected emerging market currencies through the week,
with Latin American currencies bearing a bulk of the selling as
cases in the region spiked.
    "Whether or not the market wants to deal with it, COVID is a
theme that is likely to stick with us for quite some time.
Besides the obvious, it's worse than the trade war theme of
2019, reflecting a new and more profound level of uncertainty,"
wrote Mark McCormick, global head of FX strategy at TD
Securities.
    Mexico's peso and Colombia's peso both rose
about 0.6%, tracking stronger oil prices as OPEC producers and
allies promised to meet supply cuts, while demand appeared to be
improving in major economies.
    Still, U.S. sanctions on certain Mexican companies saw
Mexico's peso set to lose about 1.6% for the week, while
Colombia's peso was the sole Latin American currency set for a
weekly gain.
    Meanwhile, equities rose, with the MSCI's index of regional
stocks adding 0.8% and Brazilian stocks
leading regional gains for the day. 
    Monetary support in major economies such as the United
States and Japan inspired some confidence in equities this week,
with most regional bourses set to end the week higher.
    On the other hand, Argentine stocks were set for
their worst week in nearly two months, as hiccups in the
country's debt restructuring talks saw investors losing
confidence in its risk assets.
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies:
     
    Stock indexes             Latest    Daily % change
 MSCI Emerging Markets         1003.03            0.79
                                        
 MSCI LatAm                    1940.32            0.68
                                        
 Brazil Bovespa               97027.81            0.94
                                        
 Mexico IPC                   37817.21            0.49
                                        
 Chile IPSA                    4022.52             0.8
                                        
 Argentina MerVal                    -               -
                                        
 Colombia COLCAP               1146.16            0.63
                                        
                                                      
       Currencies             Latest    Daily % change
 Brazil real                    5.3636            0.12
                                        
 Mexico peso                   22.5792            0.72
                                        
 Chile peso                      817.2           -0.17
                                        
 Colombia peso                 3720.25            0.63
 Peru sol                       3.5118            0.25
                                        
 Argentina peso                69.7900           -0.07
 (interbank)                            
                                        
 

 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru)
  
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