March 1, 2018 / 4:46 PM / 6 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies weaker with eyes on Fed; stocks edge up

    NEW YORK, March 1 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies
weakened versus the dollar on Thursday after U.S. inflation and
factory activity data supported the greenback, but the U.S.
currency gave up some gains as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome
Powell testified before the Senate.
    Stocks in the region rose 0.58 percent after
closing February with a decline of over 4 percent, the largest
monthly percentage drop since November 2016. Globally, emerging
market stocks were little changed for the day.
    Markets were jittery as Powell took questions from U.S.
senators two days after the newly appointed Fed chief raised
speculation about increased monetary tightening in the United
States in 2018.
    The Mexican equities benchmark IPC index rose 0.3
percent after falling 6 percent in February, its largest monthly
percentage loss since September 2011.
    Brazil's Bovespa was up 0.7 percent. Steelmaker
Gerdau rose 2.0 percent while Usiminas was
down 1.5 percent as talk about potential U.S. tariffs on the
metal made the rounds in Washington, with U.S. President Donald
Trump set to meet with steel and aluminum executives.

   
Key Latin American stock indexes at 16:29 GMT:
 Stock indexes                      Latest   Daily pct    YTD pct
                                                change     change
 MSCI Emerging Markets .MSCIEF    1,193.96        -0.1       3.17
 MSCI LatAm .MILA00000PUS         3,070.91        0.11       8.46
 Brazil Bovespa .BVSP            85,597.75        0.29      12.04
 Mexico IPC .MXX                 47,578.87         0.3      -3.60
 Chile IPSA .IPSA                 5,569.40        -0.6       0.09
 Chile IGPA .IGPA                27,982.51       -0.53       0.01
 Argentina MerVal .MERV          32,761.94       -0.75       8.97
 Colombia IGBC .IGBC             11,321.53       -0.78      -0.43
                                                                 
 Key Latin American currencies at 16:29 GMT:
 Currencies                        Latest   Daily pct    YTD pct
                                               change     change
 Brazil real BRL=                  3.2544       -0.26       1.74
 Mexico peso MXN=D2               18.8375        0.01       4.37
 Chile peso CLP=CL                  594.8       -0.05       3.23
 Colombia peso COP=              2,875.95       -0.36       3.56
 Peru sol PEN=PE                    3.263        0.09       0.80
 Argentina peso ARS=RASL            20.14       -0.10       8.31
 Argentina peso ARSB=               20.22        0.25       4.73
 


 (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)
  
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