May 22, 2019 / 3:05 PM / 4 months ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam FX index rises ahead of U.S. Federal Reserve minutes

    By Aaron Saldanha
    May 22 (Reuters) - An index of Latin American currencies
rose on Wednesday against the dollar ahead of the release of
U.S. Federal Reserve minutes, while a regional equities
benchmark was on course for a third straight day of gains.
    Minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee May 1 meeting
are due in the afternoon, which investors will examine closely
as they try to glean hints on the likely path ahead for U.S.
borrowing costs.
    MSCI's index of Latin American currencies
gained 0.8%, while its Latin American stocks
index rose 0.7%. 
    Brazil's real firmed 0.6%, while yields on local
10-year bonds edged 1 basis point lower. 
    Central bank president Roberto Campos Neto said although the
economy may have contracted in the first quarter, it will soon
get back on track, adding that stimulative monetary policy is
still needed.
    Sao Paulo-traded stocks edged up 0.1% as gains among
materials stocks were largely negated by losses among financials
and energy firms.
    Natura Cosmeticos SA's common shares reversed
early losses to rise 4.7%. The Brazilian makeup brand and Avon
Products Inc said they are in advanced talks over a
potential all-stock deal for Natura to take a majority stake in
the U.S. group. 
    Miner Vale SA rose 2.1%, among the biggest
gainers on the Bovespa. Dalian-traded iron ore futures notched a
record peak earlier in the global day.
    State-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) saw
its common shares and preferred shares
fall 1% and 1.1%, respectively, tracking lower oil prices
    Preferred shares of airline Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes
SA gained 4% after Brazil's lower house of Congress
on Tuesday voted to remove the 20% limit on foreign ownership of
Brazilian airlines.
    Delta Air Lines Inc is already among Gol's top
shareholders, as per Refinitiv Eikon data.
    Mexican stocks slid 0.6%, while the peso hit a
more than two-week peak earlier in the day but gave up some
gains to trade 0.2% firmer. 
    Mexican retail sales slipped by 0.2% in March compared with
the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms, the first
monthly decline in three months, data showed. 
    Chile's peso fell 0.1% after jitters about global
trade hit prices of copper, the country's top export.   
    Argentina's stocks rose 0.3%, while the country's
peso broadly matched that gain.

    Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1429 GMT   
 Stock indexes                                      daily %
                                           Latest    change
 MSCI Emerging Markets                      999.83     0.09
 MSCI LatAm                                2623.83     0.66
 Brazil Bovespa                           94599.63     0.12
 Mexico IPC                               42954.61    -0.55
 Chile IPSA                                4929.47     0.31
 Argentina MerVal                         34585.52      0.3
 Colombia IGBC                            12226.22     0.02
 Currencies                                         daily %
 Brazil real                                4.0140     0.83
 Mexico peso                               18.9743     0.16
 Chile peso                                  695.2     0.13
 Colombia peso                             3337.13     0.06
 Peru sol                                    3.342    -0.06
 Argentina peso (interbank)                44.6000     0.52
 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru;editing by Grant
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