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EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies near flat as oil slumps, yuan rises
January 18, 2016 / 3:06 PM / 2 years ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Latam currencies near flat as oil slumps, yuan rises

By Bruno Federowski
    SAO PAULO, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Latin American currencies were
little changed on Monday as oil prices dropped to their lowest
level since 2003, offseting a rise in the Chinese yuan.
    Crude prices tumbled as the lifting of sanctions against
Iran boosted expectations of more oil supply on the world
market, dragging other commodities lower as well.
    Demand for high-yielding assets has also been hit by
concerns over economic weakness in China, the world's top
consumer of basic goods. 
    Measures announced by the Chinese central bank to contain
speculation on the yuan helped calm investors, lifting the
country's currency and shares. 
    Trading volumes were thin in most Latin American markets due
to a U.S. holiday.
    "Foreign factors have been the main driver of currency
movements this year, so markets deplete when there is a U.S.
holiday," said Paulo Celso Nepomuceno, a strategist at
Coinvalores brokerage in São Paulo.
    The Mexican peso rose 0.2 percent after posting its
steepest loss in nearly two and a half years on Friday. The
Brazilian real was nearly flat, while the country's
Bovespa stock index fell 0.8 percent.
    Shares of Petroleo Brasileiro SA dropped to 5
reais for the first time since 2003 as traders fretted over cuts
in the state-controlled oil company's investment plans.
    Petrobras, as the company is known, has been kept out of
most capital markets by a corruption scandal. Brazilian
President Dilma Rousseff said on Friday that she would not rule
out the possibility that the government may have to pump more
cash into the company. 
    Latin American stock indexes and currencies at 1440 GMT:
 Stock indexes                                daily %    YTD %
                                               change   change
 MSCI Emerging Markets                704.07    -0.72    -10.7
 MSCI LatAm                          1617.68     -0.5   -11.15
 Brazil Bovespa                     38254.62    -0.82   -11.75
 Mexico IPC                         40761.14    -0.21    -5.16
 Chile IPSA                          3480.40    -0.17    -5.43
 Chile IGPA                         17272.22    -0.14    -4.84
 Argentina MerVal                   10017.07    -0.03   -14.20
 Colombia IGBC                       8031.95    -0.12    -6.03
 Venezuela IBC                      14574.27     0.53    -0.10
 Currencies                                   daily %    YTD %
                                               change   change
 Brazil real                          4.0436     0.04    -2.39
 Mexico peso                         18.2355     0.19    -5.51
 Chile peso                            730.2     0.14    -2.81
 Colombia peso                       3299.99     0.00    -3.96
 Peru sol                             3.4251     0.12    -0.32
 Argentina peso (interbank)          13.4000     0.37    -3.12
 Argentina peso (parallel)             14.33     0.56    -0.42
 (Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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