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EMERGING MARKETS-LatAm currencies up ahead of Fed statement
September 20, 2017 / 5:17 PM / in 3 months

EMERGING MARKETS-LatAm currencies up ahead of Fed statement

    By Bruno Federowski
    SAO PAULO, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies
firmed on Wednesday ahead of the end of the Federal Reserve's
policy meeting, when it is expected to offer new clues on when
it will increase interest rates again.
    The U.S. central bank is expected to release its latest
policy statement at 2 p.m. (1800 GMT) after a two-day meeting.
Traders bet it will also announce it will embark on a reduction
of its $4.5 trillion balance sheet.
    The widely awaited move has been the source of much debate
as inflation remains far below the Fed's 2 percent goal despite
signs of strength in the labor market.
    For years, high-yielding emerging market currencies have
lured investors who grappled with low interest rates meant to
accelerate the global economic recovery.
    The Brazilian real and the Chilean peso
strengthened 0.5 percent and 0.8 percent on Wednesday,
respectively, but trading volumes were thin as investors awaited
the release of the Fed's policy statement.
    The Mexican peso jumped 0.8 percent, reversing
losses seen on Tuesday after a powerful earthquake hit the
country, killing at least 225 people.
    Stock trading resumed after a one-day suspension, with the
Mexican BVM/S&P IPC stock index up 0.2 percent. Shares of
cement maker Cemex led the gains.
    Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index fell 0.6
percent, but Braskem shot up 5 percent to an all-time
high on reports that the petrochemical company was considering
merging its two classes of stocks into a single, common one.
    
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1720 GMT:
 Stock indexes                                daily %    YTD %
                                               change   change
                                   Latest              
 MSCI Emerging Markets               1111.96     0.21    28.69
 MSCI LatAm                          2995.68     0.17    27.76
 Brazil Bovespa                     75518.32     -0.6    25.39
 Mexico S&P/BVM IPC                 50347.43     0.16    10.31
 Chile IPSA                          5223.68     0.42    25.83
 Chile IGPA                         26061.53     0.34    25.69
 Argentina MerVal                   24227.12     0.05    43.20
 Colombia IGBC                      11072.75    -0.76     9.33
 Venezuela IBC                     425758.25    -2.51  1242.86
                                                              
 Currencies                                   daily %    YTD %
                                               change   change
                                      Latest           
 Brazil real                          3.1187     0.54     4.18
 Mexico peso                         17.6635     0.74    17.44
 Chile peso                           619.95     0.80     8.19
 Colombia peso                       2891.69     0.05     3.80
 Peru sol                              3.244     0.06     5.24
 Argentina peso (interbank)          17.1450     0.03    -7.41
                                                       
 Argentina peso (parallel)              17.9     0.28    -6.03
                                                       
 
 (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)
  

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